2022 NBA Finals: Draymond Green reveals why he picked Celtics to beat Heat

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2022 NBA Finals: Draymond Green reveals why he picked Celtics to beat Heat originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Draymond Green deflected at first, but when asked a second time by Shaquille O'Neal on the set of TNT's "Inside the NBA" show last week, the Golden State Warriors star finally gave a prediction for the Eastern Conference Finals.

Green picked the Boston Celtics, who led the Miami Heat 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals at the time, to be the Warriors' opponent in the 2022 NBA Finals.

The Celtics lost Game 6 at home the next night, and several Heat players thanked Green for the extra motivation. Heat forward Udonis Haslem even accused Green of breaking the code.

But the Celtics did eliminate the Heat with a Game 7 win on the road, setting up a phenomenal matchup in the Finals.

2022 NBA Finals preview: Three reasons why Celtics can beat Warriors

Why was Green so confident in the Celtics' ability to beat the Heat? During a press conference Tuesday, Green highlighted Jayson Tatum being a top player, the Celtics' elite defense and Tyler Herro's injury as some of the reasons for his Boston prediction.

Check out his full answer in the video below:

The early expert predictions and latest betting odds indicate the Warriors are expected to beat the Celtics. That's not a surprise, of course, given the fact that the Warriors have home-court advantage and their core players -- Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson -- each have three championship rings.

But the Celtics are more than capable of beating the Warriors. Most of the reasons why Green thought the Celtics would beat the Heat also apply to this NBA Finals series. The Celtics' elite defense, Tatum's brilliance and a strong supporting cast make Boston a difficult opponent for Golden State.