Tonight is game 3 of the NBA finals between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors. I don’t know what to think of this series anymore. In game 1, Boston made an all time great comeback, but in game 2 as I predicted, Golden State won by a significant margin, by dominating in the 3rd quarter again. But what each game has come down to is the depth and role players of both teams. No pun intended, but those role players have had the most significant role in the series. In game 1, Al Horford, Marcus Smart, Derrick White and others all stepped up with double digit points and great play in the 4th quarter. But in game 2, it was Golden State’s role players like Jordan Poole, Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II who made the difference in their win. But which players will step up to help their team win tonight?
I think this is going to be the best game yet in this year’s finals. I think everyone is going to step up except 1 player on Boston…Jaylen Brown. Celtics fans are going to get mad at me for this. But, he is the player to stop. Jayson Tatum was shut down scoring the ball in game 1, with 12 points and 13 assists, and Boston still won by double digits. They won by double digits because of Tatum’s playmaking ability to find the role players who were playing really well. However in game 2, Tatum scored 28 points and Boston lost by 19! The role players like Horford and Smart did not step up on offense, which meant Tatum needed to take more of a scoring approach. He is able to take any approach since he’s one of the best players in the league but what role he has to do may affect the overall outcome of the game.
But unlike Horford and Smart on offense, Jaylen Brown has been very consistent throughout both games. He has put up over 20 points in both games, including 9 points in the first few minutes of last game. He has been their key scorer throughout the series. If Brown is shut down, it doesn’t matter what the role players will do. Tatum will have to take so much of a scoring load that he’s going to be low on energy in the 4th quarter. I see Tatum finishing with over 32 points tonight while shooting more than 25 field goals.
But will Golden State be able to take advantage of this opportunity? I say yes. Stephen Curry is an unbelievable player and he will be able to set up his teammates perfectly. I also think because of Tatum’s work load on offense, his energy on defense will have to decline, meaning more open opportunities for perimeter players like Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson which were the 2 main players Tatum was guarding throughout the series so far. I also think Draymond Green’s controversial attitude last game will change, as he will have a very good game on both sides of the ball.
I see the Warriors winning by about 2-4 points. It will be a tight one because Tatum is a superstar and will have a great game. Other players on the Celtics outside of Brown will play well. But Brown having around 8-13 points while shooting under 35% from the field, which is what I expect, will hurt Boston overall. I think the Golden State Warriors will win this game, but not as much as the Boston Celtics are going to lose it.
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