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5 takeaways as Steph Curry, Warriors beat the Celtics to claim NBA title




Celtics

“Every possession is purposeful. It seemed the other locker room realized that.”

Celtics Warriors
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors celebrates against the Boston Celtics. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Here are the takeaways as the Warriors defeated the Celtics 103-90 in Game 6, finishing off an impressive Finals run.

1. Before we get to the Celtics (and I promise we will) we probably need to have a real conversation about where Steph Curry lands in the top 10 (because he’s unquestionably a top 10 player). He breaks the game in ways nobody broke it before him and nobody has broken it since, even as the 3-point shot takes over the game. He is the greatest shooter we’ve ever seen, and nobody is close, but he’s also an elite ball-handler, an elite passer, an elite finisher, and an increasingly solid defender. He is a flawless offensive basketball player who holds his ground on the defensive end.

And in the end, Curry scored 34 points in the closeout game against the Celtics on Thursday, including six 3-pointers. For six games, he kept folding and creasing the Celtics’ league-best defense until finally, they fell apart.

That’s what happens when you face a superstar who is still at the peak of his powers, even at the age of 34, because there’s no denying what Curry just did. He might not have had his best regular season, but he led the Warriors through the playoffs, and he decimated a very formidable opponent in the Finals.

Give Steph Curry his credit — all of it. He has now won four titles, and while many people want to take credit away from him for two of them, the team he had around him this year should more than make up the difference.

2. Once again, turnovers and offensive rebounds were a major issue for the Celtics on Thursday. As a team, they finished with a staggering 22 turnovers, and the Warriors grabbed 15 offensive rebounds — several of which resulted in 3-pointers from Jordan Poole and Curry. After a late run in the third quarter cut a big lead down to 10, the Celtics started the fourth with yet another turnover.

As great as Curry was in this series, there’s little denying the extent to which the Celtics threw the ball — and perhaps the series — away.

“Every possession is purposeful,” Robert Williams said. “It seemed the other locker room realized that; we didn’t. They had a meaning to everything they were doing.”

3. Jayson Tatum finished a disappointing Finals performance with 13 points on 6-for-18 shooting and five turnovers. The Warriors keyed in on him and seemed to take him out of his comfort zone.

Jaylen Brown played hard and kept the Celtics alive with 34 points on 12-for-23 shooting, but he too struggled with five turnovers as the Celtics’ offense fell apart.

4. Robert Williams was asked what he needs to do to come back healthy next year, and whether he needs any further procedures.

“Rest,” Williams said simply.

5. For the Celtics — and their fans — this loss will hurt … a lot. It should. Finals runs don’t happen often, and when they end in a loss, one can’t help but wonder when the next opportunity will come around.

But as the summer goes on, fans (and, frankly, the Celtics themselves) should be reminded of what they have in this team — a largely homegrown group of likable players who have improved drastically over the course of their careers. Tatum, Brown, Williams, Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Grant Williams, and Payton Pritchard should all be around for a while. Al Horford should be back next year. The Celtics are in a position to make a run again, and next year, they can be judged for what happens to their core going forward.

For now, the Celtics were a juggernaut that turned their season around and made a deep run. They were Eastern Conference champions who came up short (in admittedly disappointing fashion) against one of the greatest players of all time who put an exclamation point on a dynastic run.

The loss might make celebration impossible, but this team earned a great amount of appreciation from anyone who paid attention the whole season.

We will have more takeaways later this evening.





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