SAN FRANCISCO – The NBA Finals allow for the smallest margins of error. Opponents are too elitist and the opportunities too precious to miss in a series of seven games. For the Boston Celtics, the commission sins in Game 5 were too numerous to beat a Golden State Warriors team with a championship pedigree at home. The Warriors won 104-94 and are now on a win of their fourth title in eight years.
With the exception of a handful of transcendent individual performances and team explosions, the 2022 Finals have been a tough defensive affair. In Game 5, both teams executed their defensive game plans skillfully, if not perfectly. Golden State was exhausted and relied on his excellent assist defense, while the Celtics tried to turn the Warriors’ shooters into pilots, offering long-range shots when the Warriors settled for them.
After gaining a lead in the fourth quarter in Game 4 and a chance to take a 3-1 lead in the series, the Celtics coughed up possession 18 times, the margin of error in a game 5 in which the two teams struggled to maintain a steady offense. The defeat also missed something the Celtics fans were longing for from their superstar: a Jayson Tatum game.
The first-team All-NBA standout led all scorers with 27 points in their most dominant production in the series. To add to the misery, Stephen Curry delivered one of his minor performances, presenting another opening for the Celtics to capitalize on.
For the Warriors, Andrew Wiggins’ maturation was one of the few offensive highlights of a night when Curry missed 15 of his 22 attempts from the field, including a painful 0-0 night from behind the line. of 3 points. Wiggins remains a revelation for Golden State. For the Warriors ’all-around offensive style, they feature a limited creation of individual shots from dribbling, especially since Kevin Durant came out after the 2018-19 season.
While it’s unreasonable to expect Wiggins to fill the void left by Durant, it’s exciting for the Warriors to see how they attack the paint and crash the boards. Wiggins finished with 26 points on 12 of 23 shots from the field and zero losses. He also played a lot for the Warriors, securing a maximum of 13 rebounds.
In a postseason where he has taken on the role of Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) and Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) as the main defenders, Wiggins can claim another stamp on his passport as one of the outstanding individual defenders of the postseason. Once again, he carried the bulk of the charge against Tatum, forcing the Celtics star on a series of difficult attempts.
One of Wiggins’ distinctive sequences came in the middle of the fourth quarter when he forced a ball from Tatum, then grabbed a Curry pass from the far left and drove to his right through a float over the big Celtics, Al Horford, who extended the Warriors’ lead. at 11. Wiggins produced the dagger with just over two minutes to go with an emphatic kill on Celtics’ Derrick White.
Andrew Wiggins goes strong on the edge and curls home with a great kill to help put the game out of reach of the Warriors.
After spending much of the series in an emotional spiral while playing the less effective basketball of his postseason career, Draymond Green re-formed himself as one of the game’s creative and impactful players. In the first five minutes, he pulled out his offensive offensive early with a couple of buckets. From there, Green performed his usual duties as an offensive facilitator and general fund defender.
Interested people will likely be able to listen to more elaborate analysis on Green’s podcast. But for a few hours during the live action, Green focused solely on his work and delivered excellent results. The Celtics shot 1 of 10 when Green was the opposing defender. He missed in the final minutes of the match with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists in 35 minutes.
Throughout the season, the Warriors have highlighted that their team is different from those who won three titles during Curry’s best youth season. This has proven to be true in this tractor run of a series. Still, despite all the aesthetic flaws and ugly offensive efforts, this Warriors team still shares one thing in common with their previous incarnations: the ability to win big-bet games anyway.
One more victory the way it is on Thursday night and these differences become irrelevant.