The Golden State Warriors have an opportunity to etch their name in the history books in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The only thing standing in their way is a Boston Celtics team attempting to extend its season.
Golden State boasts a 3-2 series lead after consecutive wins. It can earn a fourth title in eight years with a win, continuing what has been a dynastic run.
With a win in Game 6 of the NBA Finals Thursday night, Boston will send this to a decisive matchup in San Francisco over the weekend. Can the team take care of business at home? As we’ve done all series, here’s four bold predictions for Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics inside TD Garden.
Big stars show up for Boston Celtics in the first quarter
It’s no secret that Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have struggled in this series. The two Boston All-Stars must change that if this is going to go to Game 7. Tatum is shooting 37% from the field in the series with Brown hitting on a mere 38% of his shots while turning it over seven times during the Celtics’ two-game losing streak.
Back in Game 2, Tatum and Brown combined for 16 first-quarter points. While it was not enough for Boston to come out on top, it should have set the tone. The two have a knack for starting strong. We’re expecting the same thing as Boston comes out amped up in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Game 6 Klay Thompson doesn’t show up for the Golden State Warriors
Well, that’s pretty darn bold. Klay Thompson knows how to step up on the game’s grandest of stages. He’s proven it over and over again during a career that now includes three NBA championships.
- Klay Thompson stats (Game 6 playoffs): 31.3 PPG, 56% 3-point shooting
Back in Game 6 of the conference semifinals against the Grizzlies, Thompson scored 30 points with eight made three-pointers to help Golden State avoid a return to Memphis. In his previous Game 6 outing, Thompson went for 30 before suffering a torn ACL against the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals.
While it seems to be a good bet that Thompson will do his thing, we’re going against that narrative. Boston knows full well that Klay has done in these types of situations. It is going to turn a lot of the attention on him despite the presence of Stephen Curry. It will lead to some struggles on the part of the two-guard, keeping Boston close throughout.
Turnover issues continues for the Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals
Boston knows full well how good it is when the team doesn’t turn it over. Tatum and Co. also understand that turnovers make this team beatable in every imaginable way. Boston is 13-2 when it doesn’t turn the ball over 16 times in the playoffs. It boasts a 1-7 record when the team reaches that unfortunatey plateau.
For his part, Tatum now holds the NBA record for the most turnovers in a single postseason with 95. He’s played loose with the ball. Brown and Marcus Smart have joined the star forward in this regard.
But let’s not act like this is all Boston’s doing. Golden State boasted the best defensive rating in the NBA during the regular season while yielding the third-fewest points. It has elite defenders at all levels. With the Warriors on the verge of closing this out, they are going to force Boston into north of 20 turnovers in a tremendous defensive performance.
Stephen Curry finally earns that NBA Finals MVP with masterpiece
Boston is going to have to pick its poison in this one. If it focuses too much defensive energy on Curry, Thompson will have one of his Game 6 performances. On the other hand, Curry himself is coming off a 0-for-9 three-point shooting performance after dropping 43 inside TD Garden in Game 4.
Right now, there’s no reason to believe Curry’s struggles will continue. He still played at a great all-around clip in Game 5. He’s a shooter. He’s going to shoot. He knows what type of stage this is. He’s also been elite playing in Boston over the past several games.
- Stephen Curry stats (past 4 games at TD Garden): 37.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 50% 3-point
One of the only things missing from Curry’s brilliant career is an NBA Finals MVP award. And while some might be betting on Andrew Wiggins, we’re boldly predicting that the all-time great will have a master class performance en route to hoisting the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in the city that Russell himself shined.