Nine thoughts on the first two Celtics-Warriors series games

Nine thoughts on the first two Celtics-Warriors series games

If this was a meaningless match in the regular season, it’s possible that officials handed out dual techniques for the same reason Green received his first game: to keep things from escalating. But none in either case was an inescapable technique.

This is the second game of the NBA Finals. Getting a lead actor kicked out of a massive game of Harmless Moments would have been a disaster. Of course, Celtics fans hoped that the green would be thrown, but the officials handled the situation correctly. Everyone advances.

2. Having said that, when Brown and Green stood on their feet and were momentarily face to face, there was a chance that the situation would rise to a level that left officials with no choice but to allocate technical errors. But Jason Tatum pulled Brown away and Marcus Smart stood in front of Green.

The guesswork here is that the coaching staff will direct the Celtics to step down if a similar situation arises.

3. After Al Horford ran six three-pointers in a Match 1 win, Warriors coach Steve Kerr turned his defense in Match 2 and turned Green on Brown and Clay Thompson on Horford.

Protecting Horford on the ocean is a low-energy task for Green, who can’t avoid getting away from the scene of the action. There is more value in being with Brown anyway. Thompson is fast enough to tackle Horford on the ocean and won’t be tempted astray.

Horford actually tried to get Thompson back a few times, but the actions were a bit coercive and obstructive.

4. At some point, Celtics coach Amy Odoka may have a decision on Robert Williams. When Williams is at his best, rising over the edge for quick picks and blocking shots, he’s arguably Boston’s third-most important player. But he didn’t do much of that as he deals with left knee issues during qualifying.

He looked really curvy during Game 7’s victory over the Heat in the conference finals. He looked better in Match 1 against Golden State, but again wasn’t moving well in Match 2, when he hit one shot and scored twice in 14 minutes.

The Celtics were at their best in the final quarter of Game One when Odoka went with a smaller group that included Horford in the center and Derek White in the game for Williams. It could get smaller, with Grant Williams devouring some minutes of the center. But backup center Daniel Theis’ duties didn’t go well during playoffs, and Williams was 75 percent more valuable.

Udoka said the extra rest between matches would help Williams, but watch Game 4 closely, which is the only game in the series that follows just one day off.

5. THE TIME BETWEEN GAMES IS POSSIBLE FOR THE GOLDEN STATE AND ITS 30+ YEARS OLD MEMBERS. The Celtics pride themselves on exhausting opponents over the previous two grueling series, and both ended with Game 7 wins.

But the Warriors have played down the wear of their stars so far, with everyone still under 39 minutes. Miami’s Jimmy Butler and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmue topped the combined 40-minute mark eight times in their series against the Celtics, and there were times when he made an appearance.

Golden State’s low workload starts in the series along with the extra time that should prevent this from turning into a war of attrition.

6. The crowd at Chase’s center during the first two games of the series…was awesome.

Aside from Golden State’s collapse in the fourth quarter in Game 1, the Warriors were mostly dominating play, so there was plenty to encourage. But the arena doesn’t have the same boisterous feel that the Oracle Arena did.

Speaking to some of the locals over the past few days, there is a general feeling that many of the true fans who have deserted to Auckland’s old edifice for so many years have been priced out of the seats in this posh downtown square.

TD Garden is still the liveliest building I’ve seen during these qualifiers, and it wasn’t even close.

7. Speaking of which, the Celtics should do everything they can to get both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on Court No. 3. With all the fireworks, tricks, noise counters, and other celebrity appearances, no one makes the audience go like these two. Although, Bill Belichick is not far behind.

8. The one thing that should worry the Celtics a little: Thompson has scored seven or more three-pointers in at least one game in each of these playoffs. He was only 4 for 15 from behind the arc during the first two games of the series.

9. About 10 months ago, Sam Houser went without drafting and had to be unsure where the first steps on his professional basketball journey would take him. On Sunday night, he made 3-pointers in the NBA Finals game.

Sure, the outcome has already been decided, but it must have been a sweet moment for the Virginia novice who signed a two-way contract with the Celtics before converting to an NBA deal in February.

Hauser showed that he is a real sniper, and at some point he will have the opportunity to get useful minutes from the NBA.


Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed.

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