The Celtics’ inexperience vs. the Warriors’ experience at this stage of the postseason was a topic at the start of the NBA Finals between Boston and Golden State. Coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors stated that experience was important. “Having been here before, just feeling it and knowing what’s coming helps,” he said. “The only thing to do is concentrate on the game and try not to get too caught up in it when you’re not playing.” Read a book, watch a movie, go for a stroll, or do something else instead of staring at the media.”
Boston discarded the topic with Game 1 victory and then took a 2-1 series lead. However, as this series moves to Game 6 on Thursday in Boston, where the Warriors have a chance to win their fourth championship in eight seasons, experience has played a determining role.In the fourth quarter of Game 4, the Warriors outscored the Celtics 28-19, and in the fourth quarter of Game 5, they outscored Boston 29-20. Both games were one-point contests headed into the fourth quarter.
Celtics coach Ime Udoka said it wasn’t a big deal that none of his players had played in the Finals.“Once you get out of the initial media circus and the intensity and how everything is much more exaggerated,” he said. “Obviously, it’s not much different when you get on the court. You have guys that are young but have been through a few Eastern Conference finals already, and our path this year, you know, two Game 7s and playing some high-level teams and taking a tough route, I think that’s prepared us more than anything.”It’s about what you expected both coaches to say as they looked for any slight advantage, real or not.
With the game on the line, Golden State executed better, ran better offense, played better defense, made fewer mistakes and prospered while Boston withered. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Kerr know what’s required in late-game situations. The moment isn’t overwhelming. They may not make the right play every time, but they’re familiar with the scenarios.
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