Marcus Smart may have inadvertently given the Golden State Warriors some bulletin-board material ahead of their 2022 NBA Finals matchup vs. his Boston Celtics.
During an episode of The Old Man & The Three, Smart told J.J. Redick that the 2018 Celtics would have beaten the Warriors in the NBA Finals had his team gotten past LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason.
Well, they didn’t … but here is what he told Redick anyway!
“If we went to the championship [in 2018] instead of LeBron and those guys, we definitely would have beat Golden State that year,” said Smart to Redick.
His response came from a question where Redick asked if Smart ever remembers a season where the Eastern Conference felt so wide open. Boston was able to win the East for the first time since 2010 by beating the Brooklyn Nets, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat on the way to the NBA Finals. Of course, Golden State has won the Western Conference six of the last eight seasons.
Game 1 tips off at Chase Center in San Francisco on Thursday, June 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT.
Marcus Smart: 2018 Boston Celtics would have beaten Golden State Warriors
If we want to look back on the postseason in question, keep in mind Boston was the No. 2 seed in the East in those playoffs. Though the Celtics did not win the Atlantic, they had home-court advantage of the No. 4-seeded Cavs that postseason. Unfortunately, Boston fell at home in seven games to James and company. Cleveland would get swept by the Warriors in the 2018 NBA Finals.
So while Smart may have a point, the same sort of things could theoretically emanate from another title contender that year: The Houston Rockets. Houston would also lose Game 7 at home in the Western Conference Finals. That team Daryl Morey constructed was built strictly to beat the Warriors in the postseason. While the Rockets could have won the2018 NBA Finals, they did not.
Ultimately, Smart has inadvertently given the favored Warriors some bulletin-board material over these comments. This 2018 team he says Boston could have beaten featured Kevin Durant at the peak of his powers. It just so happens this is the most recent title Golden State has had with its big three of Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. They want ring No. 4 … for the pinkey!
Golden State should win it six, but these NBA Finals have the potential to go the distance as well.