First Published Jun 1, 2022, 2:00 AM IST
There’s an injection of youth to the heart and soul of the Golden State Warriors. Here are the three players who can draw attention during NBA 2022 Finals.
Image credit: Getty
Friday, the 2022 NBA fans start between Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics. While the former is chasing its seventh title, the latter is eyeing its record-breaking 18th title. Both the teams have had a stellar season leading to the Finals, with some of the players pulling off spectacular performances on the road to the same. It has been a somewhat similar performance for the Warriors, which have defied all odds to reach this stage, thanks to some stunning performances from some star players. On the same note, we pick up three players who will be the centre of attraction during the Finals.
Stephen Curry: Many thought NBA 2019 was the end of Stephen Curry’s Finals career with Golden State with Kevin Durant’s departure and Klay Thomspn’s long-term injury. Three years later, he’s playing in his sixth NBA final in the last eight seasons while being the heart and soul of Golden State’s offensive identity once again.
Curry started the season on fire, leading his team to the league’s best record and breaking the all-time three-pointer record. However, a shooting slump followed by injury saw Curry’s statistics and Golden state’s ranking go down. Despite not being a starter in the first round, Stephen Curry has efficiently averaged 26 points per game and 6.2 assists per game in the playoffs and led his team to the NBA Finals.
On his way to doing so, there has been no shortage of accolades: All-star starter, All-star MVP, All-NBA second-team, and Magic Johnson Western Conference Final MVP. Along with a championship, Steph will look to capture the only accolade he hasn’t grasped yet: The Finals MVP. The Celtics present Steph with one of his toughest matchups, thanks to a tremendous defensive scheme and the defensive player of the year: Marcus Smart.
Image credit: Draymond Green/Facebook
Draymond Green: If Stephen Curry is the heart and soul of the golden state offence, then Draymond Green is the heart and soul of their defence. Green’s defensive prowess and versatility will be tested to the fullest in this series. He may be required to guard smaller guards on switches, like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in some other instances, and he’ll probably be the primary rim protector in some line-ups.
Image credit: Jordan Poole/Facebook
Jordan Poole: The required injection of youth and the most significant positive for the Golden State Warriors for the last three years has been Jordan Poole. Drafted in 2019, Poole struggled initially like most rookies but has exponentially grown since. Poole averages 18.4 points on staggering efficiency in these Playoffs, thanks to his slashing and shot-making abilities. With the Celtics likely focusing a lot of their defence on the likes of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Poole may become the X-Factor that could help the Warriors clinch a title.