Reactions and Thoughts on Games 3 and 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals

June 12th, 2022

By Alan Lu

Stephen Curry had a historic, 43-point performance to will the Golden State Warriors to a Game 4 win over the Boston Celtics. In the 2022 NBA Finals, the series is tied at 2-2.
Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports, via Warriors Wire – USA Today)

The Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors had split both of the first two games, so it would be interesting to see how the next two games would unfold.  I was thinking that they would split Games 3 and 4 to even the series at 2 all, which would end up being the correct guess. 

Both Games 3 and 4 were very interesting in their own way.  Game 3 mirrored Game 1, in which it was close, the Warriors made a comeback to take a lead in the third quarter, and then the Boston Celtics went on huge runs to blow them out to win Game 3.  Game 4 was the Stephen Curry game, in which Curry scored 43 points to lead the Warriors to the win.  Here are my thoughts on how both of those games played out.

Thoughts on Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Finals:

The Boston Celtics had a tremendous fourth quarter, and they outplayed the Warriors to win Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Finals.
USA Today Sports, via The New York Post)

The Boston Celtics started out strong, and they received sterling early performances from superstar forwards, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.  They were attacking the rim early, and they were scoring at will.  They made sound plays on both sides of the ball, as they were moving and zipping that basketball, and the Celtics also made sound defensive plays.

Midway through the game, the Golden State Warriors kept their pressure up to stay in this contest.  Andrew Wiggins did a very good job of attacking the hoop and scoring the basketball to help his team on offense.  Stephen Curry made some really tough shots to help close the gap.  The Warriors were able to go on a significant third quarter run to have a brief lead, but things took a turn for the worse for the Warriors when they sat Curry on the bench late in the third quarter.  With Curry on the bench, the Warriors struggled to shoot, score, or defend without him, and their lack of size defensively hurt them, as the Celtics were able to go on a run to re-take the lead late in the third.  Jordan Poole (who had a terrific Game 2) was largely ineffective in Game 3 as he didn’t shoot much, and he really struggled to guard opponents defensively.

The Boston Celtics went on a huge run in the fourth quarter, and they got great shooting out of Marcus Smart, Derrick White, and Al Horford.  With Brown and Tatum having played well in the first half, it allowed the Celtics’ role players to get open shots, and they were able to knock them down with ease. The Celtics proved that they are very tough to stop when this happens, and they were able to blow out the Warriors in Game 3 to go up 2-1 in the 2022 NBA Finals. 

Boston Celtics’ versatile combo guard, Derrick White has played very well for his new team off the bench, and trading to get him was definitively, the best midseason acquisition in the NBA this year.
Barry Chin/The Boston Globe)

And with the way Derrick White has been shooting the lights out of the basketball, what a tremendous midseason acquisition by the Boston Celtics! Executive Brad Stevens made terrific midseason pickups to acquire both Derrick White and Daniel Theis to help his team, and the Celtics’ trade and move to get Derrick White is the best midseason acquisition made by any team in the NBA this year.

Even worse for Golden State, star forward Draymond Green was virtually a no-show in this game, as he bricked open shots and layups, had trouble scoring, and run rampant in getting into foul trouble before fouling out of this game.  Despite being a really good defensive player, people have had questions about his struggles to shoot or score the basketball, and Green really has struggled to make shots in the NBA Finals. 

It will be very interesting to see how Golden State navigates this situation with Draymond, whose strong defensive skills makes him one of the league’s best defenders, but his feisty temperament and willingness to agitate both opponents and referees alike can sometimes get him into trouble, but things seemingly compounded when he has really struggled to make shots in this series, and has sometimes missed from point blank range.  On the other hand, he does possess strong playmaking and defensive skills, and Golden State has found ways in the past to find creative solutions to both integrate and work with Draymond and use their other role players to win tough games in the playoffs.

Thoughts on Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals:

Stephen Curry scored 43 points and made a slew of really tough shots to lead the Golden State Warriors to win Game 4 against the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals.
Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group, via The Mercury News)

Just when things appeared to be bleak for Golden State, superstar point guard Stephen Curry stepped in a major way to help win Game 4 and even the series at 2 apiece against the Boston Celtics. He scored 43 points in the process, and he really put forth a performance for the ages.

For most of the game, the Boston Celtics seemed to have a commanding lead, but the Golden State Warriors kept chipping away at the lead.  Stephen Curry made one impossible shot after another, and he made a slew of really tough, decisive shots to remind people why he is one of the all-time greatest players in NBA history.  He scored 43 points to will the Warriors to get the Game 4 win, and the Warriors were able to win in Boston to get the series to be tied at 2-2. 

The questions I have for the series are, will Stephen Curry be able to keep making shots and scoring at such a torrid pace to allow his team to win two more games in the 2022 NBA Finals?  Curry is a tremendous player, and he is a one of a kind player that can knock down miraculous shots and do so rather effortlessly, but at some point, Boston is going to want to focus most of their attention to crowd Curry to limit his chances to get open.  On the other hand, doing so could allow the other Golden State Warriors’ players to get open, but that may be a risk Boston could be willing to take.

Also, can Golden State generate consistent offense outside of Stephen Curry?  With Draymond off his game on offense and suddenly being very passive, and with Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole being extremely streaky from game-to-game, the Warriors have had to lean on their legendary, superstar point guard, Stephen Curry to more or less carry them on offense.  The Warriors have enough championship experience and poise to figure out how to navigate the next batch of games, but it’s a little concerning that they have to rely this heavily on one player (albeit it is one that is a really, really good player) to get wins for them in this series. As for the Celtics, they haven’t gotten consistent scoring out of Jayson Tatum or their role players, but when both Brown and Tatum are on their game, they can create open shots for their teammates, and Al Horford and the other players on the Celtics have proven that they can more than capably knock down threes in the playoffs.

Golden State will be at home in Game 5 tomorrow, and it will be very interesting to see which team can take Game 5 to win it to give themselves the series advantage.

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