Warriors in Control, Celtics Face Elimination Without Fear

The Golden State Warriors overcame adversity with their second-straight NBA Finals win on Monday night, beating the Boston Celtics 104-94 in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead after falling behind 2-1. The Warriors regained home-court advantage with their Game 4 win, handed the Celtics their first back-to-back loss in the 2022 NBA Playoffs in Game 5, and look to close out the series in Game 6 on Thursday night in Boston.

With Boston on the brink of elimination and the Warriors eagerly trying to close the series out on the road, who is faced with the most pressure tonight?

Golden State has won the previous two games by ten points each, the closest games in this series, following Steve Kerr’s lineup adjustment, as he swapped out Kevon Looney for Otto Porter Jr. in the starting five. However, the Boston Celtics head into Game 6 as -4 favorites to win tonight (by 3.5 points on FanDuel Sportsbook).

Boston is in a do-or-die situation, while the Warriors are in the driver’s seat with their eyes on the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Following a poor shooting performance from Stephen Curry (7-22 FG, 0-9 3PT), the two-time MVP looks to get back on track while the Celtics do their best to limit his production for a second-straight game and force a Game 7. Boston’s Jayson Tatum had his most efficient game in the NBA Finals (27 points, 10-20 FG, 5-9 3PT) in Game 5. With Tatum finding his rhythm and Curry likely to bounce back after an off night, Game 6 is looking to be one for the books. 

Although the Warriors are in control, Golden State knows there is no margin of error against these Boston Celtics.

One of the league’s most physical and defensive-minded teams, the C’s won’t go down without a fight. Behind the young duo of Tatum and Jaylen Brown, they are capable of forcing a Game 7, which is the last thing the Warriors want, despite having home court. While Andrew Wiggins has stepped up his game during the Finals and Klay Thompson looks to add to the nickname of “Game 6 Klay,” according to Boston’s Brown, the Celtics know “what’s at stake” and will “leave everything on the floor.”

Brown made it clear that there is no fear in the Boston locker room to end media availability.

“We’re not scared,” Boston’s second-leading scorer said. “We don’t fear the Golden State Warriors.”

The young Boston Celtics team looks forward to facing the challenge head-on, while the Golden State Warriors head coach understands closing a team out on the road is a challenge on its own.

“You’re in someone else’s building,” Kerr said to the media. “It’s not easy to close anybody out in the playoffs.”

Thursday night, each team will look toward winning the 2022 NBA Finals. While both teams face unique challenges in Game 6, who is the pressure on?