Warriors have no margin for error against the tested Celtics

SAN FRANCISCO – What began as a revival of Chase Center has ended with its patrons feeling as if money had been moved out of their pockets into a non-existent building fund.

It is an unfamiliar feeling for these warriors of the Golden State, whether in this brand new building that strikes or even the old Heavenly Building, being victims of robbery in plain sight and seeming powerless to prevent being plundered.

Stephen Curry’s blitzkrieg usually ends up sending even the most determined team shivering into their corners, but the Warriors didn’t take on the Boston Celtics, who seemed determined not to inflict recurring injuries on themselves to start the NBA Finals.

The Celtics stole the first game on Thursday with a 120-108 . winto deliver a powerful message to a team that is riding waves of goodwill and a revised history since qualifying for its sixth World Cup in eight years.

The inscription “There is no margin for error here” was the only evidence the Celtics left behind. The Celtics caught up with the Warriors, stared at them on their court, and then ran in front of them and swerved on their way out.

There was a lot of so-called inexperience gap, or the Celtics were quick learners during this qualifying round. These Warriors historically set the tone in the Steve Kerr era (27-2 in Game One before Thursday) with notable exceptions – in 2016 against Oklahoma City and the 2019 Finals against Toronto.

The common denominator: A larger, more physically strong team dictated the terms of engagement, and the Warriors fell 3-1 in both series.

Sounds a lot like these Celtics.

“They just kept running 7-0 a little bit to start the fourth quarter, looking for just five points, and none of those guys have been in the finals before,” Curry said. “These are little momentum swings that you can step on the gas and take away the team’s confidence. You have to take advantage of that. We didn’t do that in the third quarter, that last minute or so, and then we start the fourth.”

Golden State Warriors players Otto Porter Jr., Kevin Looney, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Paul look on from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game One of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center in San Francisco on June 2, 2022 (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Golden State Warriors players Otto Porter Jr., Kevin Looney, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Paul look on from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game One of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center in San Francisco on June 2, 2022 (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Golden State often plays a dangerous role – it was a hallmark during such a glorious race – but its talent often overcomes such lapses. But doubling it and then later in the fourth quarter (40-16) should produce at least some cause for concern, after the Celtics took the Warriors’ audacity to allow Marcus Smart, Al Horford and Derek White to shoot their hearts out. .

“My gut reaction, what I just watched, they came in and played hell in the fourth quarter, and you have to take credit for them. It’s pretty much that simple,” Kerr said. “They put a lot of pressure on you. But I thought we had some really good moments. We had 38 in the third quarter. We had a good tour there. It was the last quarter that we got.”

Post-match sermons are easy to decipher, either from Kerr to the players or the players in between. They think they dominated the competition for 42 minutes, then struggled by catching the opponent on fire for the last six minutes.

If this is their diagnosis, one built out of arrogance and not real assessment between now and Sunday, they will find themselves shocked and stunned heading to Boston for two games and staring at dire conditions.

“I think they stayed close, and they shot late. So we’ll be fine,” Draymond Green said. “We pretty much dominated the game in the first 41 and 42 minutes. So we will be fine. “

Curry set a record six times in the first quarter (and scored 21 points from a game-high of 34), but the Celtics didn’t budge, cutting methodically and taking a lead in the first half before the Warriors hit them again, hitting them hard in third.

The Warriors seemed to tip their hats to the Celtics for their flexibility, with the trio firing 15 of 23 from a 3-point range. It’s a compromise they feel they must make to defend the explosive scoring tandem of Jason Tatum and Jaylene Brown, even though the Warriors themselves are a strong defensive unit like the Celtics.

Tatum gets smelly at night, but his 13 passes were the highest production of the season, and one wonders how the Warriors will handle things once he inevitably makes those contested shots. They are not playing against Maxi Clipper and Davis Bertans now; This is prime fillet, not dog food.

“Al diverges for most of the game,” Curry said. “When he’s taking shots like that and you’re slow to turn, that’s another threat you have to worry about. These two guys [Horford and White] is the key. I hope they don’t stay hot, but you also have to do something about it.”

Horford ran into the wilderness at four, a New life man The Celtics reclaim it after a year in Oklahoma City’s Purgatory and Having played most of the play-off matches without reaching the finals.

After Brown started things going after the Warriors led by a decisive lead in the third quarter, Horford took on the task to score 11 in the fourth. The home team helped matters, with turnarounds and indomitable disjointed play – shortcomings that were covered up by the ills and inexperience of their last competitors, Memphis and Dallas.

There is something to be said about the route we took to the Championship Tour. History often points to this as a flaw but in real time a very easy path can smooth out a group. Street Fighter sprang up for the Celtics leaving them battered but daring, and completely unfazed by Curry’s early spell.

Warriors usually run and hide – starting in the death squad days or now, jumping on the opponent after the break. The sponsors of the Chase Center watched this movie many times, and sat on the edge of boredom, waiting for the challenge.

And they found it, a tsunami that felt like an earthquake.

They are essentially unshakable. Leaders are so experienced that this does not affect their confidence, and the rest of the list will follow.

Boston Celtics forward Al Horford defends his shot attempt at Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green during the fourth quarter of Game One of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center in San Francisco on June 2, 2022 (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Boston Celtics forward Al Horford defends his shot attempt at Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green during the fourth quarter of Game One of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center in San Francisco on June 2, 2022 (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

But the unnamed Warriors Carrie, Greene, and Klay Thompson have never been here before, and no one can pretend their importance has declined at this point. One could make the argument inflated given how brutal the Celtics have been in the past couple of months. With no real competitor in the West to make life difficult for the Warriors, there was an exaggerated sense of how good this team was.

Jordan Bull struggled, and so did the decorated green, which was issued a strategic challenge by the Celtics in leaving it open. Unlike Horford, he couldn’t get them to pay, so he went 2 for 12.

“I don’t think in any NBA Finals you’re going to have a margin of error,” Green said. “That’s what this team should understand. When you get to this – when you get to this point in the season, this level, there is no margin for error. They are two great teams, and the team that makes fewer mistakes will win the game, and they did.”

It’s meant to be hard, and warriors often make the impossible seem easy. But this is not easy.

“We have always embraced challenges,” Green said. “We will embrace this.”

They were better.