We are now just one day away from Game one of the 2022 NBA Finals. This year’s Finals will feature the Golden State Warriors going up against the Boston Celtics. This matchup is truly a case of the ones who have been there and done that versus the new kids on the block. The Golden State Warriors are making their sixth appearance in the Finals in eight seasons. For the Celtics, this is their first appearance since the 2007-08 season led by their young trio of Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown, and Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Smart. Like every playoff series, each team will have an x-factor who will be crucial to the matchup. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the x-factor for both of these NBA Finals squads.
NBA Finals 2022 | Boston’s X-Factor
Al Horford is as sly and crafty of a player there is in the NBA. One look at him and there is not much to be intimidated by, until you start playing against the man. He is not a player who is going to fill up the stat-sheet night after night or dazzle you with his athleticism. However, if anything, that works to his benefit as more often than not, we are seeing him make winning plays that don’t show up on the box score and proving to be one of the best team-leaders in the league. Do not forget, Horford has also been a big part of Boston’s number-one ranked defense as well.
The savvy veteran is going to be a focal point in this series. Boston’s advantage is going down low considering Golden State is undersized unless they decide to start Kevon Looney. Even then, Horford should have the advantage. Draymond Green is as good of a defender there is, but size still plays a role in a low-post matchup. Look for the Celtics to call Horford’s number more often and he will still be as important of a rebounder as he has been this postseason with a rebounding average of 9.6 per game thus far.
Golden State’s X-Factor
Jordan Poole has been a revelation this season. Not just to the Golden State Warriors, but to the whole NBA. Poole is one of the main catalysts in Golden State’s death lineup and looks to be the next coming Splash Brother. Just when the Warriors could not get anymore offensive firepower, they get another 18 point per game scorer on their roster. In this postseason, he has rose to the occasion.
The Warriors are going to look for another big series from Jordan Poole. If Steph Curry has an off-game, they can feel content knowing Jordan Poole is there to fill the shooting void. So far this postseason, he has tallied a three-point shooting percentage of 39.3 percent. This is an improvement from his regular season shooting percentage from beyond the arc of 36.4 percent. While the Splash Brothers and Draymond Green are going to make their impact, do not be surprised if Jordan Poole becomes a dark-horse candidate for Finals MVP.