• Full coverage: The 2022 NBA Finals
The 2022 NBA Finals have had three games so far, and so far, the Boston Celtics are halfway to the NBA title as they lead 2-1. But how did the teams stack up in terms of stats? Take a closer look below.
There were 144 minutes of play during the first three games of the Finals, with Boston leading in 69 minutes (47.9%) and Golden State leading by 66 minutes (45.8%). In addition, there were nine minutes with the match tied (6.3%). There have been a total of 20 changes up front and 12 draws so far, but most of those changes came from the first two games in San Francisco. In their first home final in 12 years, the Celtics led by 47 minutes out of 48 minutes in a game that included only three changes up front.
Much of Boston’s +17 rebound advantage came in the Finals in Game 3 as the Celtics won the boards 47-31 overall and 15-6 on the offensive glass. While Golden State’s Kevon Looney is the series’ top player (23) and offensive bouncer (10), the Celtics got the job done collectively because they have seven of the series’ best bouncers, led by Jaylen Brown and Al Horford with 22 boards each. .
Brown has 73% of his rebounds*, the second-highest of any player with seven or more rebounds behind only teammate Payton Pritchard (83%).
(* = A player has the chance of rebounding if the player is closest to the ball at any time between the time the ball has crossed under the edge to the time it has fully bounced.)
When looking at these traditional stats, the only significant advantage for warriors comes in thefts (+11). Similar to Boston’s rebound advantage, a lot of that advantage was built up during Golden State’s Game 2 win when they had 15 steals — the most in a Final game since Game 2 of the 2017 Finals when Cleveland lost 15 to Golden State. . Our John Schuhmann researched those thefts (the Celtics live ball transformations) into the Game 2 Finals Stats details for that game.
What separates the Celtics and Warriors in three games are two field goals (116-114) and five free throws (43-38), all in Boston’s favour. Teams are equal on 3-pointers made up of 49 shots, although Boston scores 3-shooters with a higher percentage. Looking back at the six Golden State Finals since 2015, the Warriors allowed more than 40% of shooting from a 3-point range in just one series prior to these finals—when Portland fired 42.8% from a 3-point range in the 2016 Western Conference semifinals. .
Boston has made five more free throws (and attempted seven more) than Golden State so far. The key stats to look at here are drives to the basket, with Boston having an advantage of 155-114 in total drives and a 15-10 advantage in free throws made while driving. The Celtics tied for twice the number of fouls the Warriors made as they moved toward the hoop.
One of the stats that has been tied to the winner in all three games is the points in the board – the team that wins that battle has won every game. Boston had an advantage 34-26 in Game 1, Golden State had an advantage 40-24 in Game 2, and Boston, 52-26, had an advantage in Game 3 (as Schumann explains here).
Facing the league’s top-ranked defense — a regular-season 106.2 defensive-rated, and a post-season 105.1 entering the Finals — the Warriors have to take advantage of transition opportunities to score easy baskets before the stifling Celtics defense can set it up. However, excelling over the second half does not guarantee a win: Golden State outperformed Boston 18-4 on break points in Game 3…and lost nonetheless by 16.
The Celtics (15.4%) and Warriors (15.1%) delivered the ball at similar rates during the playoffs and during the Finals specifically. In Game 1, Boston beat the Warriors by 11 points over the number of games (21-10) and ended up winning by 12 points. In Game Two, it was the Golden State’s turn to capitalize on Boston’s mistakes, and racked up 18 (33-15) points in total in a 19-point win. The only match that didn’t prove well was Game 3, where Golden State won the points exchange battle, 19-17, but lost 116-100.
While the Celtics’ offensive rating of 119.2 they posted in a first-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets is unlikely to match, their offensive rating of 113.3 through three games is better than what they posted in each of the past two rounds against the Milwaukee Bucks (108.8) and the Miami Heat (110.7) . Meanwhile, Golden State’s offensive rating of 110.5 is well behind its performance against the Dallas Mavericks (120.3) and the Denver Nuggets (121.9), but it is slightly better than its performance against the Memphis Grizzlies (108.3).
The similarities in the effective field target percentage and true aiming percentage show how close this series is. However, there is one statistic that is surprising Not Proximity is the auxiliary ratio. The Celtics use the pass to set up scoring chances at a much higher rate than the Warriors.
During the regular season, the Warriors led the NBA in assist percentage as more than two-thirds of their baskets (66.9% to be exact) came from assists. On the other hand, Boston is ranked 14th with 60.9%. In the post-season (prior to these Finals), the Warriors were the first team in passing percentage (66.9%), while the Celtics jumped to second place (65.5%). But since the Finals began, Golden State passes have fallen to 62.3% and Boston is in another stratosphere by 73.3%.
Part of that landing should be attributed to Boston’s defense, which disrupted the Golden State’s normally free-flowing, hard-passing attack. But if we look at the numbers, the passing frequency for the Warriors has steadily fallen from the regular season (310.3 passes per game, second in the NBA), to the playoffs before the Finals (281.6 passes per game, fifth of 16 teams), and now the number is down to 267 Passes per game in three games of the Finals – 23 fewer passes per game compared to the Celtics.