Celtics vs. Warriors: Hottest Comments from Experts After 2022 NBA Finals Game 1

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 3, 2022

Boston - June 2: Boston Celtics Al Horford (42) after making a layup against the Golden State Warriors during fourth quarter. The Boston Celtics visited the Golden State Warriors for Game One of the NBA Finals at the Chase Center in San Francisco, CA on June 2, 2022. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Boston Globe/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics produced the largest fourth-quarter differential in NBA Finals history without their star player contributing a lot in the scoring column.

Jayson Tatum did almost everything else but score in the fourth on Thursday, while Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Derrick White finished off the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals.

Tatum shot 3-of-17 from the field and totaled 12 points, the fourth-highest total for his team. His distribution more than made up for his lack of scoring, as he dished out 13 of the team's 33 assists.

NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg and Bleacher Report's Dan Favale both outlined how Tatum made a difference with his passing:

Chris Forsberg @ChrisForsberg_

The breakdown on Jayson Tatum’s 13 assists: 7 above-the-break 3s 2 corner 3s 35 total assist points Still generated nearly 50 points off PTS + AST on a night his shot was way off. Tatum’s Game 1 assist percentage (37.1%) was his 2nd highest of postseason (5/15 vs. MIL, 40%)

Dan Favale @danfavale

jayson tatum may have gone 3-of-17 in game 1 but his passing was absolutely massive https://t.co/u77VTGDEUN

MassLive.com's Matt Vautour pointed out that Tatum recorded a plus-27 in the fourth quarter without making a basket:

Matt Vautour @MattVautour424

Jayson Tatum was +27 in the fourth quarter without scoring a point

Two of Boston's top three scorers in Game 1 were players acquired in trades over the last 12 months.

ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst outlined the makings of the Horford deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder that landed the big back in Boston, and how it marked a different style of deals between the team's two presidents of basketball operations, Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge:

"Stevens sent out a first-round pick, No. 16 last year, to do the deal. This wouldn't have been a typical Ainge move, as he preferred to hoard picks to use either on developmental players or as bait to chase a star. It wasn't that Ainge's process was flawed; the entire core of the team is players he drafted who have paid off. But at this point, Horford was a 35-year-old role player yet Stevens made getting him a priority—all a definite departure from the team's typical priorities."

Boston's midseason trade for White has turned out to be equally as important as the Horford deal last June.

CBSSports.com's Jack Maloney and Sam Quinn pointed out that the Celtics ended up getting a bargain in the White deal with the San Antonio Spurs that sent Josh Richardson and draft picks in the other direction:

"When the Celtics traded Josh Richardson, a 2021 first-round pick and a 2028 first-round pick swap to acquire Derrick White from the San Antonio Spurs, there were some who worried that they gave up too much for a guy who wouldn't even be in their starting lineup. As it turns out, they may not have given up enough."

Boston took Game 1 at the Chase Center despite giving up 21 first-quarter points to Stephen Curry. The Golden State star finished the game with 34 points, but only one other Warriors player had more than 15 points.

The Warriors' defensive play ultimately did them in, as Draymond Green left Horford open on four of his six makes, as The Athletic's Anthony Slater pointed out:

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Four of Al Horford's six made 3s were basically uncontested. Two had a late contest. Horford is making 46.3 percent of his 3s in the playoffs. https://t.co/oH36eyZEEP

Slater floated out a possible change for Game 2 with Green defending Jaylen Brown instead of Horford:

"Maybe a possible Game 2 adjustment has Green on Jaylen Brown instead of Horford, getting him in the mix instead of floating too far off a shooter. Opponents have always had more success than normal against Green with a stretch big, using his aggressiveness against him. It's boring to just stick on an assignment in the corner. It's more fun and damaging to sprint into the tornado."

Green seemed to brush off some criticism regarding the Warriors' play after the contest by proclaiming the Warriors would "be fine," per Ben Golliver of the Washington Post.

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

Warriors' Draymond Green after Finals Game 1 loss to Celtics: "We pretty much dominated the game for the first 41, 42 minutes. We'll be fine."

Former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins thought the opposite about the Warriors, as he ripped into Green's comments on NBC Sports Boston's postgame show.

Celtics on NBC Sports Boston @NBCSCeltics

"That was a whole lot of lying. 'We'll be fine.' No you won't!" @KendrickPerkins @EddieHouse_50 @Scalabrine react to Draymond's comments after Game 1 https://t.co/hSPzoTnNRb

Golden State has two days to install whichever adjustments it needs to make to deal with the Celtics. Game 2 tips off at 8 p.m. ET Sunday.