STATS & ANALYSIS

Celtics vs. Warriors in the NBA Finals Multiverse of Madness

Boardroom explores all the possibilities ahead in an NBA Finals series that could go just about any direction.

There will be no shortage of storylines surrounding the winner of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. According to our friends at FanDuel Sportsbook, the Warriors are favored to win the series with -160 odds, but if you’ve watched this postseason, you know that can change in a hurry.

With such close probabilities, anything can happen. Both teams have the potential to win by a considerable margin or to tough out a grueling championship victory. Furthermore, each possibility will bring with it a series of outcomes surrounding the players involved and the franchises themselves.

There are legacies on the line — budding superstars have the potential to etch their names among the greats, while other veterans have a chance to climb all-time rankings with another championship under their belts.

Regardless of the results, we’ll explore the potential narratives ahead in our NBA Finals Multiverse of Madness.

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If the Golden State Warriors Win the Title

FanDuel Odds: -160

Ranking the Core of the Warriors

If the Warriors dominate the NBA Finals, their legacy as a dynasty grows to new levels. The core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, while healthy, will soar up the lists of the NBA’s elite trios. Only the Jordan-led Chicago Bulls and Duncan-led Spurs would be able to compete with their four championship rings.

Cementing Stephen Curry as Top 10 Ever

Curry’s postseason play shouldn’t be a narrative, but it is. Many pundits and TV personalities have stated that Steph comes up shorter than desired during the finals, as his numbers decline slightly in big postseason games.

Curry’s greatness is already solidified. However, winning a finals MVP would all but ensure he is remembered as one of the 10 best ever. If he can win the award in dominating fashion, the case only grows stronger.

NBA Top 75 List: Klay Thompson

The NBA top 75 list was one of the most polarizing media pieces to come from the 2021-22 NBA season. There were plenty of NBA legends and current players who deserved to be honored as one of the best 75 players in NBA history, and controversial snubs included Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving, and Thompson.

Klay felt like he belonged on the list and even wore a number 77 jersey in response (due to a tie, there were actually 76 players on the top 75 list). Winning a championship and looking good in the process will force a panel of media members, current and former players, coaches, and team executives to eat their words.

If the Boston Celtics Win the Title

FanDuel Odds: +135

Jayson Tatum: One of the Greatest Playoff Runs of All-Time

If the Celtics dominate the Warriors, it will be because of Jayson Tatum‘s elite play. During the playoffs, Tatum has gotten past the superstar-constructed Brooklyn Nets, a completely dominant Giannis Antetokounmpo, and a playoff savant in Jimmy Butler. Adding the dynasty Warriors to his list would complete one of the most incredible playoffs runs in NBA history.

Ranking Al Horford

Horford is a five-time NBA All-Star with an all-NBA team and an all-defensive team appearance. Adding an NBA championship to his resume will put him in the pantheon of the best power forwards or centers.

Horford doesn’t really have a positional category to fit into when it comes to all-time rankings. Winning a championship at center would solidify him at the position while maintaining his respect as a traditional power forward.

Brown and Tatum Work Together

Before the All-Star break, some thought the Celtics should split up Jaylen Brown and Tatum. The Celtics had a sub-.500 record, and it seemed like splitting up the duo might increase the team’s chances of landing another big-time star.

Instead, the Celtics rallied together under the philosophies of coach Ime Udoka and powered themselves to a slot in the Finals. The team has already proven that Brown and Tatum can play together as two-way wing players. But, an NBA championship would hush anyone who has ever doubted their abilities as a duo.

If Either Team Wins by a Small Margin

The Fans Win

Basketball fans just want to see good games. A down-to-the-wire seven-game series would be the perfect bow to end the season for fans without a rooting interest. Regardless of the outcome, both teams have the personnel to play any style of basketball. Whether it’s playing small ball, getting out in transition, or shooting a ton of threes, both teams can easily change their styles.

Each team also has tremendous star power. Whether creating a legacy with Tatum or cementing one with Curry, fans can’t go wrong.

Both Teams Can Evaluate their Championship Rosters

The NBA Finals will also indicate how either team needs to adjust their roster for next year. Should the Warriors go all-out and sign Jordan Poole long-term? Is there a piece to the puzzle that would add to the young core of the Celtics? There’s no better time to figure out what it takes to win a championship than when playing for one.

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