Boston Celtics: 2 unsung studs from astonishing Game 1 win over Warriors

The Boston Celtics take on the Golden State Warriors Sunday night at the Chase Center in Game 2 of the NBA Finals (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The Boston Celtics take on the Golden State Warriors Sunday night at the Chase Center in Game 2 of the NBA Finals (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Throughout this year’s postseason, the Boston Celtics have only gone on to exceed expectations.

From being viewed by some as a potential first-round reject against the Brooklyn Nets to coming in as semi-underdogs in their two subsequent series against the Bucks and Heat, respectively, time and time again the C’s have managed to play lights out and beat the odds makers’ predictions.

So, when all of the pre-game talking heads (Stephen A. Smith, Jalen Rose, etc.) tabbed the Warriors as being the favorites to pull out the victory on opening night of the 2022 NBA Finals, we all should have automatically expected Ime Udoka and co. to pull off the upset, right? After all, at this point, such outcomes have become somewhat of a constant for the ball club.

Welp, if you didn’t expect it, shame on you as an upset is exactly what transpired after 48 minutes of play.

Now, granted, by no means did anyone believe that Thursday’s bout would have been an easy one for the shamrocks to pull out.

In fact, the first quarter alone made it look as though we were bearing witness to an all-out massacre led by Golden State, as Stephen Curry found himself notching 21 points and knocking down six 3-pointers in the period (a Finals record) whilst guiding the Dubs to a 32-28 advantage.

Shooting 53.8 percent from deep and nearly 50 percent from the floor as a whole, early on it appeared that Boston’s top-ranked defense ran out of steam after playing two consecutive seven-game series prior to this championship round and, in turn, the Warriors would be able to take advantage by getting space rather easily and dropping in nearly every attempt they hoisted.

Then, as time went on, we slowly but surely began to see the Boston Celtics of old show up, as they started clamping down on the defensive side of the ball to end the first half and, by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, they simply were impenetrable.

Heading into the final period behind by 12 (92-80), it was evident that their defense (specifically on the perimeter) and efficient scoring on offense was going to be needed if they wanted to steal away home-court advantage, and that’s exactly what it took, as they held the Warriors to just 25 percent shooting from deep in the fourth while converting on a whopping 75 percent of their own looks.

As a result of this, coupled with their classic cool, calm, and collected demeanor (this team seemingly never gets rattled) Golden State’s lead quickly began to dwindle from a dozen, to seven, to two until…they took the lead at the 5:10 mark (106-103) and never looked back, ultimately coming out victorious with the 120-108 edge.

With this, the Celtics go up 1-0 in this incredibly polarizing series and take hold of momentum as we now gear up for Game 2 on Sunday night.

Now, as we stated already, Boston had to claw their way back into this contest, for they went down early on and saw so much as a 15-point deficit late into the night, and, to us at HH, we believe these 2 players were truly the keys for their second-half surge: