Three games into the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics had the Golden State Warriors on their heels. With a 2-1 lead and their home crowd in front of them for Game 4, Boston had a chance to take a commanding lead in the Finals and place themselves one victory away from the 2022 championship.
That, obviously, is not what happened. The Celtics haven't won a game since then, and now, as the series returns to Boston, Warriors coach Steve Kerr sent a message to his players. "We're going to get this in Boston," Kerr told the Warriors in the locker room after their Game 6 victory. "We're going to finish this in Boston."
As certain as Kerr sounds, this doesn't exactly play like a typical public guarantee. This isn't a boast to the media. It's not a message to the Celtics, either. It's a confidence that he's sharing with his team after two straight wins. After watching his players take the past two games, he knows that they're capable of ending this thing on Thursday night.
And given Golden State's history? They won't want to take any chances with a possible Game 7.
The last time they held a 3-2 Finals lead was 2016 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. That series ended with a Game 7 loss at home, putting an end to Golden State's 73-win season. Boston has already won one game in San Francisco this series. They've been a better road team this postseason (8-4) than a home team (6-5). The Warriors can take nothing for granted. They've won two games in a row. There's no need to make this any harder on itself than it needs to be. Take a third consecutive game and they're the 2022 NBA champions.