Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry put up his signature NBA Finals performance Friday night against the Boston Celtics in Game 4.
With Golden State trailing 2-1 in the series, it needed to win in Boston in order to make this a series. A victory would have also enabled these Warriors to retake home-court advantage. In the end, Curry dropped 43 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in an all-time great NBA Finals performance.
Golden State now heads home for Game 5 Monday evening with an opportunity to pull to within one win of its fourth title in eight years. Meanwhile, the Celtics need a huge performance to overcome Friday night’s ugly loss. As we have done all series, here’s a look at four bold predictions for Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
Jayson Tatum’s struggles continue for Boston Celtics
Tatum is shooting just 34% through the first four games of the NBA Finals. That’s the lowest percentage for any player with an average of 20-plus shot attempts in the history of the Finals. What’s amazing here is the fact that Tatum is shooting less than 25% from two-point range in the series.
- Jayson Tatum stats (2022 NBA Finals): 22.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 7.8 APG, 34% shooting, 45% 3-point
Tatum knows he needs to up his game if the Celtics are to pull ahead and win Game 5. That’s not even in question.
Unfortunately for Tatum, it’s not going to be easy. Andrew Wiggins continues to play at an elite clip defensively following his performance against Luka Doncic in the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors’ star will be more than up to the task Monday evening, leading to another poor performance from Tatum.
NBA Finals Draymond Green to show himself in Game 5
Green was in over his head during the Warriors’ split of the two games in Boston. He let Celtics fans get to him, putting up a couple consecutive stinkers. In fact, Green has simply been terrible thus far in the NBA Finals. Even his mom knows this.
“Please ppl stop asking me what’s wrong with Dray… I DONT KNOW! Maybe this is a CLONE! Lmbo WHERE IS THE Draymond that helped get us here!! Hmmmm I have never seen this either.”Draymond Green’s mom, Mary Babers, in since-deleted Twitter post
Green is averaging 4.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists on 23% shooting through four games. Again, he’s been terrible. The good news is that Green will return to the comfortable confines of the Chase Center. He’s well aware of his struggles. Expect a signature performance from the three-time NBA champion come Monday evening.
Marcus Smart keeps Boston Celtics close with triple-double
Smart has the tough task of defending Stephen Curry. He knows very well how much that can impact him on the offensive end of the court. With that said, the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year hasn’t let that impact his offensive game thus far.
- Marcus Smart stats (2022 NBA Finals): 15.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.8 APG, 44% shooting, 39% 3-point
With Tatum struggling to get going, the Celtics are going to need a bit more from Smart on offense. We fully expect that to happen come Game 4. Look for Smart to score 20-plus points while registering double-digit rebunds and assists for the second triple-double of his NBA Playoff career.
Stephen Curry drops another 40-burger in Game 5
It’s rather surprising to look at. When Curry went down to a foot injury at the end of Game 3, it seemed that he would be limited moving forward. The two-time NBA MVP had noted after the loss that it was similar to the injury he suffered against Boston in the regular season that cost him 12 games.
Fast forward a couple days, and Curry wasn’t showing any issues. He was running up and down the court, creating a fast pace, running through screens and completely dominating on offense.
How good was Curry in Game 4? He became the first player in NBA Finals history to drop 40-plus points while hitting seven three-pointers. It was the continuation of what has been a brilliant Finals performance thus far.
- Stephen Curry stats (2022 NBA Finals): 34.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.8 APG, 2.0 SPG, 50% shooting, 49% 3-point
Those are just some absolutely insane numbers. With two days of rest ahead of Game 5, Curry will not be tired come Monday night. With the way he’s been hooping, we’re boldly predicting that Curry will drop north of 40 points en route to leading Golden State to a 3-2 series advantage.