The NBA Finals shifts to Boston for Game 3, with the series tied 1-1 after the Celtics won Game 1 on the road in San Francisco, and Golden State evened the series with an impressive victory in Game 2.
Heading into Game 3 on Wednesday night, the Celtics are -3.5 favorites on their home court with a chance to regain the series lead over the Warriors.
The Celtics are 56-43-1 against the spread, including going 13-7 ATS in the postseason. At home at TD Garden, the Celtics are 56-43-3 straight up in both the regular season and the playoffs, but struggled to cover the spread on the parquet floor at 22-26-2 ATS.
|2022 NBA FINALS|
|Game 3: Golden State Warriors (1-1) at Boston Celtics (1-1)|
- Tip-off: Wednesday, June 8 @ 9 pm ET
- Location: TD Garden, Boston
- Point Spread: -3.5
- Total: 214.5 o/u
- Moneyline: GSW +140 / BOS -160
The Warriors are 51-45-4 ATS overall, but just 10-8 ATS in the postseason. As a road team, the Warriors are 25-23 straight up, but 20-26-2 ATS. In six playoff games on the road, the Warriors have only won twice.
The Celtics are -115 odds to win the 2022 NBA Championship, according to a recent update by DraftKings. The Warriors are -105 odds to win the title.
Warriors: where’s Klay?
The Warriors got the hometown treatment from officials in Game 2, as the zebras allowed them to play extra-physical against the Celtics. Draymond Green should have gotten a double technical after an incident with Jaylen Brown, but the refs swallowed the whistle.
If the officials allow Green to be his usual self and let both teams play physical ball, then the Warriors have the edge.
We predicted the NBA Finals would come down to a 3-point shooting contest, but it’s been fairly even so far. The Warriors are keeping pace with the Celtics from long range. In two games, the Warriors knocked down 34-for-82 3-pointers for a 41.4% success rate. The Celtics shot better from downtown at 46.2% on 36-for-78, but only knocked down two more treys.
Both teams weaponized the 3-pointer to bury their opponents in two huge quarters. The Celtics — especially Al Horford — leveraged the trey in the fourth quarter of Game 1 to seize a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals. In Game 2, the Warriors shot lights out during a huge third quarter to pull away from the Celtics.
Steph Curry looks like an early NBA Finals MVP candidate, averaging 31.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. He’s also shooting 46.2% from 3-point range. The other half of the Splash Brothers struggled in the NBA Finals.
The Warriors need Klay Thompson to wake up from a mini-slump. In two games, he’s averaging just 13 ppg while shooting 30.3% from the floor and 26.7% from downtown. Thompson’s playing time decreased by nearly 25% from Game 1 to Game 2. He shot 4-for-19 from the floor and 1-for-8 from beyond the arc while scoring just 11 points.
Celtics: subterranean third-quarter blues
The Celtics were outscored 73-38 in the third quarter through the first two games of the NBA Finals. In Game 1, the Warriors jumped out to a double-digit lead after outscoring the Celtics 38-24 in the third frame. The Celtics saved their hide with a massive fourth-quarter rally after the Warriors went cold.
In Game 2, the Warriors outgunned the Celtics 35-14 in the third, and the Celtics never recovered. It’s been the same story during the third period: the Celtics commit too many turnovers and miss way too many shots.
“That’s been an ongoing theme in the playoffs so far,” said Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. “We turn over the ball. Give (opponents) easy baskets.”
“Sometimes letting our offense affect how we defend means we’re a little stagnant in the third quarter,” admitted Jayson Tatum.
If the Celtics can come out of the locker room at halftime all fired up, they can regain control of the series. They’ve been outscored by 14-plus points four times in the postseason, and they’re 1-3 in those games.
Jaylen Brown leads the Celtics in scoring, averaging 20.5 ppg compared to 20 ppg from Tatum. After an ugly Game 1 with just 12 points, Tatum bounced back with a strong performance in Game 2 with 28 points.
Derrick White averages 16.5 ppg off the bench, but the Warriors zeroed in on him in Game 2 to make sure he didn’t get hot again like he did in Game 1 with 21 points and five treys.
Check out more coverage of the 2022 NBA playoffs.