2022 NBA Finals: Warriors vs. Celtics

NBA Finals numbers preview: Key stats that could define series

Dig into the key statistics to comprehend before Game 1 of the Celtics-Warriors NBA Finals on Thursday.

What should we expect in the 2022 NBA Finals?

NBA offenses have become more efficient over the years, but defense can still win championships. And the 2022 NBA Finals are a matchup of the league’s two best defenses from the regular season. It’s the first Finals meeting between top-five regular season defenses since 2010.

Of course, the Golden State Warriors, with their top six guys all healthy, have become more of an offensive team in the playoffs, scoring a postseason-best 116.1 points per 100 possessions. They topped that mark in only one 16-game stretch (one which spanned the All-Star break) in the regular season.

After an offensive series in the first round, the Boston Celtics have had the No. 1 defense in each of the last two. They won Games 5 and 7 of the conference finals, even though they barely cracked a point per possession in those two games.

Winning ugly will be a much tougher task against the Warriors, but the Celtics have some offensive weapons of their own.

Here are some statistical notes to get you ready before Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday (9 ET, ABC).

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions


Golden State Warriors (53-29, 12-4 in playoffs)

Stephen Curry has accounted for 39.4% of the Warriors’ 3-point attempts when he’s been on the floor.

First round: Beat Denver in five games.
Conf. semis: Beat Memphis in six games.
Conf. finals: Beat Dallas in five games.
Pace: 98.4 (5)
OffRtg: 116.1 (1)
DefRtg: 111.0 (6)
NetRtg: +5.1 (2)

• Regular season: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

• vs. Boston: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

• Playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups


Warriors efficiency by round

Round Opp. OffRtg Rank AdjO DefRtg Rank AdjD
First round DEN 121.9 1 +10.4 113.9 8 +0.1
Conf. semis MEM 108.3 5 -0.7 107.8 3 -6.5
Conf. finals DAL 120.3 1 +11.2 112.2 3 -0.3

AdjO = OffRtg – opponent’s regular-season DefRtg
AdjD = DefRtg – opponent’s regular-season OffRtg

Warriors playoff notes – General:

9-0 at home in the playoffs. No team has won more than 10 playoff home games without a loss, with the four 10-0 teams (all champions) being the 1977 Blazers, the 1986 Celtics, the 1987 Lakers and the 1996 Bulls.

• Were 9-6 at home and 8-5 on the road in their five straight Finals trips from 2015-19.

• Have outscored their opponents by 25.4 points per 100 possessions in the fourth quarter, the best mark for any team in any quarter. Have won four of the seven games they trailed after the third period and are 8-0 when leading after three.

• 10-0 after leading by double-digits, 6-4 after trailing by double-digits, and 5-2 in games that were within five points in the last five minutes.

Warriors postseason shot profile

 Area FGM FGA FG% Rank %FGA Rank
Restricted area 203 280 72.5% 3 20% 14
Other paint 178 350 50.9% 3 26% 4
Mid-range 80 173 46.2% 2 13% 10
Corner 3 43 122 35.2% 11 9% 12
Above-break 3 173 446 38.8% 2 33% 3

%FGA = Percentage of total field goal attempts


Warriors playoff notes – Offense:

• Have had the two most efficient series in these playoffs, scoring 121.9 points per 100 possessions in the first round and 120.3 in the conference finals.

• Rank 14th in time of possession (20.1 minutes per game).

• Have scored 12.7 points per game on cuts, most in the playoffs, according to Synergy tracking.

• Rank second in both ball movement (336 passes per 24 minutes of possessions) and player movement (11.3 miles traveled per 24 minutes of possession). Rank first in assist percentage (recording assists on 66.9% of their field goals).

• Have scored 79 points on 65 possessions (121.5 per 100) with the score within five points in the last five minutes.

Warriors efficiency and four factors – Offense

 Season OffRtg Rank eFG% Rank FTA Rate Rank TO% Rank OREB% Rank
Reg. season 112.1 16 55.2% 3 0.235 23 15.0% 29 26.9% 15
Playoffs 116.1 1 57.2% 2 0.253 11 15.0% 10 28.2% 7

eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
FTA Rate = FTA/FGA
TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained


Warriors playoff notes – Defense:

• One of four teams that don’t rank in the top five in any of the four factors on defense in the playoffs.

12-1 when they’ve held their opponent under 120 points per 100 possessions.

• Opponents have taken 44.7% of their shots from 3-point range, the fourth-highest rate in the playoffs.

• Have switched 30% of ball screens, the eighth highest rate in the playoffs, according to Second Spectrum tracking. Have played “blitz” or “show” coverage on 16%, the third-highest rate.

Warriors efficiency and four factors – Defense

 Season DefRtg Rank eFG% Rank FTA Rate Rank TO% Rank OREB% Rank
Reg. season 106.6 2 50.9% 2 0.265 26 14.7% 7 26.4% 6
Playoffs 111.0 6 52.2% 6 0.280 11 13.0% 13 25.9% 7

Warriors playoff notes – Lineups:

• Starting lineup from the conference finals — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney — has outscored its opponents by 17.3 points per 100 possessions, the second-best mark among 13 lineups that have played at least 75 minutes. Their lineup with Jordan Poole in Looney’s place has the third-best mark (plus-15.7 per 100), having scored 124.6 per 100, the best OffRtg mark among those 13 lineups.

• The Poole lineup has averaged 105.3 possessions per 48 minutes, the fastest pace (by a huge margin) among those 13 lineups that have played at least 75 minutes.

• The Warriors have outscored their opponents by 15.0 points per 100 possessions with Otto Porter Jr. on the floor. That’s the best on-court NetRtg mark among 100 players who’ve averaged at least 20 minutes in the playoffs. He has the best cumulative plus-minus (plus-91) off the bench by a healthy margin.

• The Warriors have scored 119.3 points per 100 possessions with Andrew Wiggins on the floor. That’s the second-highest on-court OffRtg mark among 100 players who’ve averaged at least 20 minutes in the playoffs. Porter has the third-highest mark (118.4).

Warriors playoff notes – Individuals:

• Stephen Curry has accounted for 39.4% of the Warriors’ 3-point attempts when he’s been on the floor. That’s the highest rate among 129 players who’ve played at least 100 playoff minutes.

• Curry leads the playoffs with 17 3-point attempts from 30 feet and out. He’s made only three (18%) of the 17.

• Curry has scored 1.14 points per possession on isolations, the second-best mark among 18 players with at least 25 isolation possessions, according to Synergy tracking.

• Curry leads the playoffs with 1.6 secondary assists per game.

• Draymond Green has allowed just 0.48 points per possession on isolations, the best mark among 24 players who’ve defended at least 20 isolation possessions, according to Synergy tracking. Jordan Poole has the worst mark (1.24).

• Opponents have shot just 38.3% against Green. The difference between that and their expected field goal percentage (49.2%) on those shots is the biggest among 111 players who’ve defended at least 50 shots in the playoffs.

• Green has a field goal percentage of 64.0% in the paint and an effective field goal percentage of just 37% on shots from outside the paint. That’s the fourth biggest differential among 60 players with at least 25 field goal attempts both in and outside the paint.

• Jonathan Kuminga has averaged 14.4 points in the paint per 36 minutes, fifth-most among 129 players who’ve played at least 100 minutes.

• Kevon Looney has an effective field goal percentage of 66.7%, the third-best mark among 88 players with at least 50 field goal attempts. He’s the only player with at least 50 field goal attempts and zero 3-point attempts in the playoffs.

• Looney has grabbed 12.9% of available offensive rebounds and 18.4% of total rebounds while he’s been on the floor. Those marks rank third and fourth among 122 players who’ve averaged at least 15 minutes per game.

• Jordan Poole has a true shooting percentage of 67.3%, the best mark among 49 players with a usage rate of 20% or higher.

• Poole has shot 55-for-60 (91.7%) from the free-throw line, the second-best mark among 21 players with at least 50 attempts. Andrew Wiggins has the worst mark (33-for-52, 63.5%).

• Otto Porter Jr. is the only player who’s played at least 200 minutes (66 total players) and hasn’t had his shot blocked.

• Klay Thompson ranks third with 6.3 catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts per game. The 43.0% he’s shot on catch-and-shoot 3s ranks 13th among 52 players who’ve attempted at least 25 total.

• Thomson is one of two players (Seth Curry is the other) who’ve averaged at least six catch-and-shoot points and at least six pull-up points per game.

• Thompson has shot 28-for-55 (50.9%) on pull-up 2-pointers, the second-best mark among 30 players with at least 25 attempts.

• Andrew Wiggins (14-for-27, 51.9%) is one of four players (the only one still playing) who have shot better than 50% on at least 25 mid-range attempts.


Boston Celtics (51-31, 12-6 in playoffs)

Jayson Tatum is the only player remaining in the playoffs to average at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists.

First round: Beat Brooklyn in four games.
Conf. semis: Beat Milwaukee in seven games.
Conf. finals: Beat Miami in seven games.
Pace: 95.9 (7)
OffRtg: 111.8 (8)
DefRtg: 105.1 (2)
NetRtg: +6.7 (1)

• Regular season: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

• vs. Golden State: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

• Playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups


Celtics efficiency by round

Round Opp. OffRtg Rank AdjO DefRtg Rank AdjD
First round BKN 119.2 3 +6.9 115.0 10 +1.8
Conf. semis MIL 108.8 4 -2.3 99.7 1 -14.6
Conf. finals MIA 110.7 3 +2.3 105.1 1 -7.8

AdjO = OffRtg – opponent’s regular-season DefRtg
AdjD = DefRtg – opponent’s regular-season OffRtg

Celtics playoff notes – General:

• 18th team in NBA history to win multiple Game 7s in the same postseason. Only one — the 1988 Lakers — has won three Game 7s.

• Just the second team in the 18 non-bubble postseasons since the first round changed to best-of-seven to reach the NBA Finals with a better road record (7-2) than home record (5-4). The other was the 2016-17 Cavs (7-0, 5-1), who went 0-3 on the road in the Finals. The record for the most road wins in one postseason is nine, a mark held by the 1995 Rockets, who went 9-3 on the road in winning their second straight championship.

Best second-quarter team in the playoffs, having outscored their opponents by 17.2 points per 100 possessions in the second period.

• 12-2 after leading by double-digits, 4-5 after trailing by double-digits, and 6-4 in games that were within five points in the last five minutes.

• Have outscored their opponents by 11.0 points per game from 3-point range, the second biggest differential in the playoffs (trailing only the Mavs’ differential of 16.7 points per game).

Celtics postseason shot profile

 Area FGM FGA FG% Rank %FGA Rank
Restricted area 248 392 63.3% 12 27% 5
Other paint 101 240 42.1% 9 16% 13
Mid-range 76 169 45.0% 4 12% 11
Corner 3 67 180 37.2% 9 12% 4
Above-break 3 174 485 35.9% 8 33% 2

%FGA = Percentage of total field goal attempts


Celtics playoff notes – Offense:

• Have scored 1.24 points per possession in transition, the second-best mark in the playoffs (best among teams that advanced out of the first round), according to Synergy tracking.

• Rank second in time of possession (21.7 minutes per game).

• Rank fifth in ball movement (316 passes per 24 minutes of possessions), 15th in player movement (10.0 miles traveled per 24 minutes of possession) and second in assist percentage (recording assists on 65.5% of their field goals).

• Have scored just 54 points on 57 possessions (94.7 per 100) with the score within five points in the last five minutes.

Celtics efficiency and four factors – Offense

 Season OffRtg Rank eFG% Rank FTA Rate Rank TO% Rank OREB% Rank
Reg. season 113.6 9 54.2% 9 0.239 22 13.8% 13 27.7% 11
Playoffs 111.8 8 53.6% 7 0.298 6 14.6% 9 26.2% 11

eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
FTA Rate = FTA/FGA
TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained


Celtics playoff notes – Defense:

• Rank second in both opponent 2-point percentage (49.8%) and opponent 3-point percentage (31.7%).

• Opponents have taken just 36.0% of their shots, the third lowest opponent rate in the playoffs, from 3-point range. (The postseason average is 41.0%.)

• Have switched 43% of ball screens, the third-highest rate in the playoffs, according to Second Spectrum tracking. Switched only 29% in the conference finals after switching 55% through the first two rounds. Have allowed just 0.83 points per chance when they’ve switched a ball screen, the best mark among the 11 teams who’ve switched at least 100 in the playoffs.

• Have allowed just 0.73 points per possession from pick-and-roll ball-handlers, the second-best mark in the playoffs (best among teams that advanced out of the first round), according to Synergy tracking.

Celtics efficiency and four factors – Defense

 Season DefRtg Rank eFG% Rank FTA Rate Rank TO% Rank OREB% Rank
Reg. season 106.2 1 50.2% 1 0.234 9 14.0% 11 27.5% 16
Playoffs 105.1 2 49.0% 1 0.254 5 13.6% 10 28.8% 10

Celtics playoff notes – Lineups:

• The Celtics’ everybody’s-healthy starting lineup — Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Robert Williams III — has played just 56 minutes (in six games), 19th most among all lineups in the playoffs. It’s scored just 95.9 points per 100 possessions, the third worst mark among 24 lineups that have played at least 50 total minutes.

• Their four most-used lineups have been outscored by 7.5 points per 100 possessions in 205 total minutes. All other Boston lineups have outscored their opponents by 11.3 per 100 in 659 total minutes.

• Tatum leads the playoffs in total plus-minus, with the Celtics having outscored their opponents by 129 points in his 739 minutes on the floor.

• The Celtics have outscored their opponents by 10.5 points per 100 possessions with Horford on the floor. That’s the third-highest on-court NetRtg mark among 100 players who’ve averaged at least 20 minutes in the playoffs.

• The Celtics have allowed just 98.5 points per 100 possessions with Robert Williams III on the floor. That’s the second-best on-court DefRtg mark among 100 players who’ve averaged at least 20 minutes in the playoffs. Derrick White has the fourth-best mark (100.2).


Celtics playoff notes – Individuals:

• Jaylen Brown has an effective field goal percentage of 75.8% in the fourth quarter, the best mark for any player with at least 35 field goal attempts in any quarter. Al Horford‘s fourth-quarter effective field goal percentage of 68.3% is the eighth-best mark.

• Brown has shot 18-for-27 (66.7%) from 3-point range in the fourth quarter and just 6-for-29 (20.7%) in the third. Those are the best and third-worst marks for any player with at least 20 3-point attempts in any quarter (74 total instances).

• Horford has shot 32-for-74 (43.2%) from 3-point range, the fourth-best mark among 40 players with at least 50 attempts in the playoffs. Derrick White has the fourth-worst mark (16-for-58, 27.6%).

• Horford has contested 14.2 shots per game, most in the playoffs.

• Horford has defended 61 isolation possessions, most in the playoffs by a wide margin, according to Synergy tracking. The 0.71 points per possession he’s allowed rank seventh among 24 players who’ve defended at least 20 isolation possessions. Grant Williams ranks third at 0.63 points per possession.

• Payton Pritchard has an assist/turnover ratio of 8.00 (32/4), the best mark among 61 players with at least 20 total assists in the playoffs. Brown has the fourth-worst mark (1.17) among that group.

• Pritchard has an effective field goal percentage of 70.2% at home and just 45.0% on the road. That’s the biggest differential among 74 players with at least 25 field goal attempts both at home and on the road in the playoffs.

• Marcus Smart leads the playoffs with eight charges drawn.

• Smart (12-for-28) and Brown (15-for-35) have both shot 42.9% on pull-up 3-pointers, tied for the second-best mark among 28 players with at least 25 pull-up attempts.

• Smart has shot just 24-for-49 (49.0%) in the restricted area, the worst mark among 48 players with at least 25 restricted-area attempts.

• Jayson Tatum is the only player remaining (and one of seven total) who’s averaged at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists.

• Tatum has averaged 41.0 minutes per game, most for any player who’s played at least 10 playoff games in the last four years (since LeBron James averaged 41.9 in 22 games in 2018).

• Tatum (11-for-27) and Brown (9-for-24) lead the playoffs in 2-point attempts from 18 feet and out.

• Tatum (3.2) and Smart (3.1) rank sixth and seventh in deflections per game.

• Grant Williams has taken 49% of his 3-pointers from the corners. That’s the third-highest rate among 40 players with at least 50 total 3-point attempts. His 14-for-39 (35.9%) from the corners ranks 17th among 22 players with at least 20 attempts. Brown (11-for-23, 47.8%) ranks third.

• Robert Williams III has a true shooting percentage of 69.7%, the second-best mark among 88 players with at least 50 field goal attempts in the playoffs.

• Williams III has averaged 4.29 blocks + steals per 36 minutes, most among 129 players who’ve played at least 100 minutes in the playoffs.

• Williams III has averaged 5.5 second-chance points per 36 minutes, fourth-most among those same 129 players.

• Opponents have shot just 36.7% against White. The difference between that and their expected field goal percentage (46.8%) on those shots is the third biggest among 111 players who’ve defended at least 50 shots in the playoffs.


Regular season matchup

Boston and Golden State split their regular-season series.

Series tied, 1-1

Pace: 94.8 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes
Golden State OffRtg: 105.9 (18th vs. Boston)
Boston OffRtg: 113.6 (6th vs. Golden State)


Total points scored, season series

Area GSW BOS Diff.
Restricted area 34 50 -16
Other paint 30 28 2
Total in paint 64 78 -14
Mid-range 24 10 14
3-point range 81 90 -9
Total outside paint 105 100 5
Free throws 30 39 -9
Fast break points 20 22 -2
2nd chance points 26 21 5

Matchup notes:

• The Warriors were without Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson in the first game, and they were without Andrew Wiggins in the second game, when Stephen Curry left late in the first half with a foot injury after a collision with Marcus Smart. Draymond Green played just 22 minutes off the bench (it was his second game back from a nine-week absence) in that game.

• The Celtics were without Al Horford and Grant Williams in the first game, which took place before they traded for Derrick White. They had all of their top nine guys in their win at Golden State in March.

• The Warriors had Curry, Thompson and Green on the floor together for just 4.3 minutes in that second game. They shot 0-for-7 (0-for-6 from 3-point range) and were outscored, 7-1, in those 4.3 minutes.

• The Celtics’ regular starting lineup was a plus-19 in a little more than 18 minutes in that March meeting, holding the Warriors to just 31 points on 39 possessions.

• The two teams combined to take 51.6% of their shots from 3-point range over the two games. That was the third-highest rate among all regular-season series. The Warriors’ rate (53.4%) was their highest mark against any opponent, and they accounted for two of the seven times a team took more than half of its shots from 3-point range against the Celtics. The Celtics’ rate (49.7%) was their second-highest rate vs. any opponent.

• Over the two games, the Warriors had an effective field goal percentage of 48.0%, their worst mark against any opponent this season. Their 3-point percentage (28.7%) was their second-worst mark. Thompson was 1-for-11 from beyond the arc in the one game he played.

• The Celtics had a free throw rate of 31.3 attempts per 100 shots from the field, their second-best mark vs. any opponent. Jayson Tatum’s rate (18 free throw attempts, 35 field goal attempts) was also his second-highest vs. any opponent.

• Robert Williams’ four blocks (in only 24 minutes) in the March game were tied for the second-most against the Warriors this season.

• Smart was the primary defender on Curry, who shot 2-for-8 (0-for-4 from 3-point range) in that matchup.

• Wiggins was Tatum’s primary defender in the first game (which Thompson missed), while Thompson was Tatum’s primary defender in the second game (which Wiggins missed).

* * *

John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

Latest

NBA Logo

Want every headline right at your fingertips? Sign up to receive NBA emails!

By clicking "Submit", you agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. You agree that your personal information will be used to send you messages about NBA related products and services, and share your personal information with NBA partners and affiliates so that they can also contact you about products and services that might be of interest to you.