Golden State Warriors vs Boston Celtics 6/16/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions

Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics Matchup Preview (6/16/22)

The Golden State Warriors (3-2) face the Boston Celtics (2-3) in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals on Thursday night. The Warriors are one game away from claiming their 4th championship since 2015 after prevailing 104-94 in Game 5. Stephen Curry plummeted back to Earth with an ugly line of 16 points and 8 assists on 7/22 from the field and 0/9 from three. Andrew Wiggins, however, picked up the slack through his 26 points and 13 rebounds on a 52.1 FG%. Klay Thompson poured in 21 points on 5/11 from three while securing two steals. Draymond Green avenged his poor previous outings by contributing 8 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 steal. Off the bench, Jordan Poole (14) and Gary Payton II (15) provided a nice scoring punch. Golden State should be thrilled to win considering the team went 9/40 (22.5%) from three and Curry couldn’t hit anything. 

Boston faces a must-win home game now due to their disastrous offensive performance. They caught fire from deep in the 3rd quarter and scored 35 points; however, they managed a measly 59 combined points outside of that quarter. Jayson Tatum had 27 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 turnovers on a 50 FG% and 55.5 3PT%. His partner – Jaylen Brown – contributed 18 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 turnovers on a terrible 27.7 FG%. Boston squeezed 20 points out of Marcus Smart on decent efficiency (7/15 shooting), but he also committed 4 turnovers. Robert Williams was the only positive Boston player at +11, and he nearly clinched a double-double (10 points, 8 rebounds). Their bench – White, Grant, and Pritchard – went 1/9 from the field with 3 turnovers. The Celtics shooting was on par with Golden State’s, but they attempted 13 less FGA due to a frustrating 18 turnovers. Jaylen Brown (5) nearly had the same amount of turnovers as the entire Warriors team (6)! To make matters worse, they went 21/31 (67.7%) from the free throw line, which is inexcusable. 

Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds

The spread for Game 6 is set at -4 Celtics, and I like the Warriors to cover but Boston to win. They have overcome two Game 7’s this postseason, so the energy and production has been there in win-or-go-home situations. Boston has attempted 107 free throws this series, while the Warriors are at 76 FTA. Considering they are at home, that advantage should factor heavily into Game 6. Because of this, the Warriors – Draymond especially – may spiral into foul trouble early. With the defense, free throws, and more efficient shooting, Boston is going to narrowly squeak out a win. 

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TV Schedule

Date: 6/16/22
Time: 9:00 PM ET
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, MA
Channel: ABC

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Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup

PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Otto Porter Jr
C: Draymond Green

Golden State Warriors Analysis

Andrew Wiggins dominated the Celtics inside because his elite athleticism matched or exceeded his defender. He was able to get to his spots on drives and elevate for a pull up jumper or attack the basket. Wiggins kept the offense afloat with Curry uncharacteristically struggling. His 13 rebounds were also vital since Looney only played 16 minutes due to foul trouble. He was able to limit put-back attempts and ensure Boston came away empty on plenty of possessions. Golden State needs Wiggins to replicate this performance in Game 6 against a cornered Celtics team. With Draymond and Looney racking up fouls, Wiggins must aggressively crash the glass and consistently box out. If he doesn’t compete inside, Williams, Horford, and Brown are going to crush them in the paint. 

Gary Payton II paced the Warriors at +16 because of his two-way play. He scored 15 points on 6/8 from the field, grabbed 5 rebounds, and swiped 3 steals. Payton actively patrols passing lanes and pressures Boston’s ball handlers with his tight on-ball defense. The Celtics have multiple good but not elite ball handlers, so Payton can wreak havoc on their often careless dribbling and decisions. He provides them 6 fouls to work with, and Golden State can happily trade a foul for a turnover. The important thing for the Warriors in Game 6 is to come out aggressive, scrappy and hungry. Boston will fight for their playoff lives and play possessed, so Payton, Wiggins, and the rest of the team must hustle like they never have before. 

Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Robert Williams III

Boston Celtics Analysis

With 3:42 left in the 4th, Boston had only scored 5 points in the final frame. Jayson Tatum looked exhausted, and it clearly affected his play. He went 1/5 from the field and 2/4 from the free throw line in the 4th quarter. Tatum air-balled multiple shots and routinely left attempts short because his legs were gone. He’s their best player, but Tatum isn’t at his peak as a primary ball handler with a heavy playmaking load. Boston needs to increase their ball movement and stop leaning on Tatum to initiate offense. He has to let the game come to him instead of forcing it. By spreading the ball around, Tatum won’t be as gassed by the 4th, and his turnovers would be cut down. This change would allow him to perform in crunch time and keep his burst. 

Jaylen Brown also needs to increase his passing and stop driving head down into the paint. The Warriors are consistently doubling him on drives, and it’s causing him to turn the ball over or shoot over two defenders. Brown has to keep his head up and look for open shooters; if the double doesn’t happen, then he can fully commit to the drive. The Celtics rose from the ashes in January because they committed to ball movement and banished isolation plays. Ime Udoka has to ingrain this style into them before Thursday or it looks bleak. Boston is the more talented team, but they keep shooting themselves in the foot. If they can get out of their own way, the Celtics should be traveling for a Game 7.

Robert Williams threw some excellent passes in Game 5, and Horford can operate as a playmaking hub in the post. The Celtics should take a page out of the Warriors book and get their bigs more involved in playmaking. Horford needs more touches on offense because he can use his height to fling passes or shoot over Draymond and Looney. Golden State’s lineup is small, so Boston has to exploit this deficiency. Boston is 2-0 this series when Horford’s involved in the offense. He’s averaging 18.5 PPG and 4.5 APG on 9.5 FGA in their two wins. On the other hand, he’s averaging 6.3 PPG and 2 APG on 5.3 FGA in their three losses. Horford provides balance to the offense, and his involvement causes a ripple effect that cuts down on team turnovers. 

Braxton has been writing for Lineups since December 2021 with the majority of his articles focused on the NBA. He is currently a senior at the University of Pennsylvania where he has spent the last few years working with various UPenn athletics teams and contributing to the UPenn Sports Analytics Group.

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