2022 NBA Finals: Why history is against Celtics entering Game 2 vs. Warriors

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Why Celtics face long odds vs. Warriors in Game 2 despite Game 1 win originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics have all the momentum after stealing Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals from the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on Thursday night. But keeping it will require a historic effort.

As the Celtics aim to take a 2-0 series lead in Sunday night's Game 2 in San Francisco, here's some context about how hard it is to win two games on the road in the NBA Finals, via NBA Communications:

In the history of the NBA Finals, only two teams -- the 1993 Chicago Bulls (vs. the Phoenix Suns) and the 1995 Houston Rockets (vs. the Orlando Magic) -- have won Games 1 and 2 on the road. The Bulls dispatched the Suns in six games in 1993, while the Rockets swept the Magic in 1995.

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Another reason why the odds are against the Celtics? They're facing one of the most mentally tough postseason teams of the last decade.

Consider these two stats about the Warriors under head coach Steve Kerr:

  • Golden State has never trailed a playoff series 2-0 since Kerr took over as head coach in 2014-15.

  • The Warriors are 4-0 after a loss in this year's playoffs, winning by an average of 14.5 points.

Those are impressive numbers, but maybe not surprising considering Golden State has a trio of three-time NBA champions in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Despite a late Game 1 collapse in which Boston outscored them 40-16 in the fourth quarter, the Warriors didn't seem rattled after the game, with Green insisting his team will be "fine" while dismissing Boston's hot shooting as a bit of an aberration.

If any team can buck those historical trends, however, it's the 2021-22 Celtics. Boston is 8-2 on the road in these playoffs and would set an NBA record for the most road wins in one postseason with a victory Sunday night.

Then again, the C's haven't been sharp after postseason wins lately (2-6 combined in the second and third rounds), so they'll need to show up to Game 2 with the same focus and intensity if they want to take a commanding lead in this series.