This might as well be an elimination game for the Warriors, who are not going to become the second team in NBA history recover from a 3-1 Finals deficit to win the title. In that way, Golden State feels like the smart bet. It's the more desperate team.
That said, the Boston Celtics increasingly look like the clearly superior team. They don't have to compromise either end of the court with their lineups, while Golden State has to choose offense or defense. The Celtics have more creators, a better defense and they're much bigger and more athletic.
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Boston hasn't been great at home throughout the playoffs, but Stephen Curry, who is shooting 49 percent on 12 3s per game through the first three games of this series, represents the ultimate puncher's chance.
It's still tight. Personally, I predicted the Celtics to win the series in seven at the start, and I still believe that. I think the Warriors will find a way to win Game 4 and turn it into a three-game series going back to San Francisco, but most of my colleagues disagree. It's hard to argue with them. Again, Boston looks like the better team.
How to watch Game 4 live
- Game: NBA Finals, Game 4
- Date: Friday, June 10 | 9 p.m. ET
- Location: TD Garden -- Boston, Massachusetts
- TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Get access now)
- Odds: GS +145; BOS -170; O/U 214 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Celtics vs. Warriors prediction, Game 4 picks
Bill Reiter: It felt certain earlier in the week that the Warriors would win one of these two games in Boston. Steph Curry is Steph Curry. Klay Thompson would certainly reclaim his shooting touch, at least for one game. Draymond Green would back up his tough talk with impactful, forceful play. Jordan Poole would finally contribute. And so on. That still feels right, even if less so under the uncertainty of Curry's injury. Yet the Warriors, as far as we know, are still the Warriors, and recency bias reigns supreme in the NBA. So barring Curry being too hurt to truly help, the sky is most likely not actually falling on the Warriors -- and a win shifts this series and its momentum back into their hands. Pick: Golden State +4 | Warriors 112, Celtics 108
Brad Botkin: This is very simple: I'm betting on Stephen Curry and the Warriors' world-class competitiveness, which has arguably been their most important trait over the years. This team fights. Its championship life is on the line. If Boston goes up 3-1, this is over. Boston is a better team. Golden State is facing disadvantages all over the court. Still, in my soul, I believe in Curry to be Curry and the Warriors to find a way to even this thing up going back to San Francisco. But they're going to have to put up points to do it, because I don't see them doing much to stop Boston. Pick: Golden State +4 | Warriors 118, Celtics 113
James Herbert: I am straight-up uncomfortable with how confident I am in the Celtics right now. I initially predicted this would be a seven-game series, and nothing about Golden State suggests it will fold. It seems, however, like we are seeing a familiar story unfold: Boston figures out exactly how it wants to attack its opponent, while that opponent searches for lineups that work on both ends. I can't pick the Warriors when I don't think they have figured out a winning formula *and* Steph might be hobbled. Pick: Boston -4 | Celtics 120, Warriors 110
Colin Ward-Henninger: A lot of people are picking the Celtics, and rightly so. They've physically dominated Golden State and endured great shooting nights from Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to win Game 3. My hope for the Warriors comes from the idea that Steve Kerr has spent the first three games trying to figure out lineup combinations and rotation patterns. He hasn't struck gold often, but I think he has enough evidence to make better calls in Game 4. They won't get dominated on the boards again, and Draymond Green is going to come out with the fire and passion we saw in Game 2. There hasn't been a competitive crunch time in this series yet, and that's where I think the Warriors have the advantage. This one should be close, but I'm going Golden State. Pick: Golden State +4 | Warriors 103, Celtics 100
Jasmyn Wimbish: I would just like to start out by saying my score prediction was three points off the final score for Game 3, so cheers to that. Moving onto Game 4 ... Steph Curry said immediately after Game 3 that he doesn't think this foot injury will cost him a game. He then said Thursday afternoon that he's playing in Game 4. That's all great news for the Warriors. However, if he's less than 100 percent, it could be troublesome for this team. Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins showed signs of life on offense in Game 3 which was encouraging, but Golden State couldn't stop anyone on the other end of the floor. The Celtics punished the Warriors with their size, limited the turnovers and played smart, sound basketball. It felt like Boston found the recipe to beat this team two more times, while Golden State is still trying to figure things out. Pick: Boston -4 | Celtics 120, Warriors 112
Michael Kaskey-Blomain: I picked Golden State to win Game 3, and that didn't go so well. The Celtics were the more physical team throughout Game 3, and at times they simply looked too big and too athletic for Golden State to match up with, and that's not necessarily something you can scheme against. The other issue for the Warriors is that they've had trouble finding consistent scoring outside of Steph Curry, while the Celtics have had more consistent contributions. Speaking of Curry, he now might be hobbled a bit after Al Horford landed on his leg late in Game 3. The Warriors need him to do so much, and if he's not at full strength it's going to be tough for them to win. Pick: Boston -4 | Celtics 112, Warriors 104
Sam Quinn: Here is what I'm just struggling to get over through three games: In the regular season, nearly 48 percent of Stephen Curry's field goals were assisted. In this series, that figure has been cut down to 27.3 percent. All of the beautiful game five-man motion that Golden State leans on offensively? It's gone. The Celtics are daring the Warriors to beat them one-on-one, and Curry is the only scorer they have who's capable of doing so. Jordan Poole is averaging 12 points per game. Klay Thompson wasn't really a dribbler even at his peak. I just don't see any answers to that for the Warriors. Their roster isn't equipped for this kind of series. I expect the Celtics to start to separate themselves in Game 4. Pick: Boston -4 | Celtics 121, Warriors 102