With the NBA Finals tipping off Thursday, the largest query is clear: Who will win between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics?
But the reply might lie in who has the higher players, and Colin Cowherd counted down the ten best heading into the championship series.
Let’s get into his list.
Colin’s thoughts: “One of the best defensive rating of any Celtics defensive player, and that is saying something. Now, he’s had injuries, he’s missed quite a lot of games, but he shut down Bam Adebayo. Draymond Green was telling me yesterday, ‘If that guy is on the ground, we’re not scoring inside.'”
Cowherd’s thoughts: “He’s Mr. Double-Double within the playoffs. He’ll get you 12 and 12. He’s also been a really efficient 3-point shooter within the series. He’s an experienced, high-IQ basketball player [and] slightly higher defender than people give him credit.”
Colin’s thoughts: “Now he comes off the bench, but he averages over 17. The difference between him, Horford and Robert Williams is that if he scored 30 in considered one of these games, you would not be shocked. He’s got an enormous ceiling, he’s very clever, lightning-fast first step.”
Cowherd’s thoughts: “His thing is inconsistency because when he scores, [the Celtics] don’t lose. He’s an important defensive player. Offense is a struggle for him. He isn’t a natural, fluid offensive player, but about every third or fourth game, he’ll offer you 20-plus, and when he’s done that within the playoffs, the Celtics are 5-0.”
Cowherd’s thoughts: “When he’s on the ground, you are feeling just like the Warriors are more athletic and higher defensively. When he’s on the ground, I feel like he’s only a 6-foot-7-and-a-half springy, twitchy athlete. He can rating 20. He can shut Jayson Tatum down for moments.”
Cowherd’s thoughts: “He’s leading all remaining players in assists, consider it or not. He doesn’t hit many 3s, but within the 20 games this yr that he’s hit one, they’ve won 19. Draymond will get the hardest defensive task. He’s annoying and difficult, and the [Dennis] Rodman of this era.”
Cowherd’s thoughts: “They’ve made the Finals in six straight years when he’s healthy. The 2 years he wasn’t, they stunk. Klay allows Stephen Curry respiratory room on the defensive end. Klay looks like he’s got his stroke back, and he might be the difference on this series.”
Cowherd’s thoughts: “He gives you among the dimensions of Klay: good 3-point shooter, good defensively, and he’s the second-leading scorer for the Celtics. Within the Eastern Conference finals, he made more 3s than some other player. He made 19.”
Cowherd’s thoughts: “Top-of-the-line young players in the sport and there aren’t any holes in his game. I do not think he’s a terrific ball-handler. He is usually a bit sloppy with the ball and turnover-prone.”
Cowherd’s thoughts: “He’s essentially the most lethal scorer, the fastest scorer, the game-changer. He’s essentially the most energetic player without the ball within the league. He’s the table-setter. He’s the finisher, the culture-setter, and he’s the leader. He is usually a bit sloppy like Tatum, slightly showy at times, but he’s essentially the most influential player of my life.”
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