Previewing Game 5 of the NBA Finals Celtics vs Warriors

Our in-house baseball expert Billy J (-1.05 Units) breaks down his best bets for tonight action!

Just like that the series is tied back up at 2-2 and Golden State Warriors have reclaimed control of home court advantage.  It was a game the Warriors could not afford to lose, and Steph Curry put the team on his back and made sure they were coming out of Boston with a win.  Through the first four games of the series the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors have alternated wins and it is not hard to believe that the winner of Game 5 will go a long way toward deciding the champion.  

With the Warriors now taking back control of the series the question remains if they can hold it after Game 5.  Much like Games 1 and 2, the storyline is the Warriors accomplishments at home versus the Celtics success on the road.  The difference now being after four games both teams know each other.  They know what the rotations will look like and by now have learned each other’s playbooks. There are not many surprises left. 

The Chase Center can be a daunting place for opponents as the Warriors are an impressive 10-1 at home during the 2022 NBA Playoffs.  However, home court advantage and having Steph Curry may not be enough for the Warriors.  If the Warriors are going to be the team to take a 3-2 lead, they’re going to need some guys other than Steph Curry to step up.  Additionally, the Warriors must continue to use effective passing and crash the offensive boards.  Besides Steph Curry and Jordan Poole, the Warriors really struggle to create offense off the dribble.  The Warriors are averaging roughly 15 second-chance points per game in the playoffs and effectively rebounding more than 29 percent of missed shots in the series against Boston. 

The Celtics have already upended the Warriors in Game 1 of this series and have proven to bounce back every time they lose.  In fact, the Celtics are an astounding 7-0 coming off a loss this post season.  For the Celtics, it comes down to two things that they can control, slowing down Steph Curry and limiting turnovers.  It’s one of the things that makes the Celtics so good.  Their defense.  Defense travels and that is why their record away from home during this playoff run has been so impressive.  

If we dive into their defensive prowess a bit, it is even more impressive.  Their defense is so dynamic because they are physical, versatile, and interchangeable.  The Celtics playoff opponents are shooting about 44 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point land in, with the Celtics giving up less than 21 assists per contest.  The Warriors are not getting to the free throw line either, only attempting 16 foul shots per contest.  It is near impossible to stop Steph Curry, but if the Celtics can at least hinder his offensive impact some and make someone else beat them it increases their chances of winning that much more.  

On the other side of the ball, it is basic.  The Celtics have enough players that can create and make shots.  Knowing that the game plan should be to make Steph Curry work on defense as much as possible and take care of the basketball.  The Celtics are 1-6 this postseason in games where they turn the ball over 15 or more times.  On the other hand, they’re 13-2 when they limit their turnovers to 14 or fewer.

I believe the Celtics favorable road trends will continue and will once again put the Warriors backs against the wall in Game 6.

Best Bets for Game 5!

One Unit on Boston Celtics +4.5 -120

One Unit on Derrick White u1.5 Three Pointers +105

One Unit on Jayson Tatum Most Assists +250

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