The NBA Finals are knotted up at a game apiece as the Golden State Warriors used another spectacular third quarter to build an insurmountable lead against the Boston Celtics. Here are 8 things we think we've learned so far, all subject to change when the setting and narrative change.
Draymond Green is still the No. 1 pest in basketball
Love him or hate him, there's no denying that Green elicits a visceral positive or negative feeling. And a normal person can swing on a whim from being in on his behavior or out on it. Try as they may, neither Marcus Smart or Grant Williams can beat the Warriors forward at his own game, which is calculated, valuable and profoundly irritating.
We all miss Mike Breen
The best NBA play-by-play announcer has been sidelined due to COVID protocols up to this point and his absence has been noticed. Mark Jones puts out a professional and passable broadcast, but one that can be distracting and comes nowhere close to the gravitas of the bang enthusiast.
COVID is still real
Hey, remember that worldwide pandemic that's still kicking the world's butt? You'd be forgiven if you had as we've largely chosen to ignore it completely. But Breen's inability to get behind the mic is a needed reminder that things are not well.
The Warriors love third quarters
In two straight games, the home team has come out with their hair on fire after halftime and build substantial leads. Each time they've looked downright unbeatable and far superior to Boston. It's a testament to Steve Kerr's approach at recess and may turn out to be the deciding factor when all is said and done.
The new media looks a lot like the old media
Green has promised to usher in a new era of player-led media, yet early returns suggest he and his co-horts will leverage the existing playbook to make their click quota. His continued riffs with Kevin Durant sound an awful lot like the bus driver vs. bus rider conversations Charles Barkley, the man he's to supplant, has been having. Just proof that you can tinker with the wheel, but there will not be a completely reinvention.
Al Horford is 36
Boston has found gold in a geriatric Millennial mine. The reserves may be running dry, though, as Game 2 showed a slower, less productive veteran incapable of being a top option. Can he keep up his health and energy for several more contests at the end of a long postseason run? The answer to that question will have huge impact on which team hoists the Larry O'Brien.
Marcus Smart's green hair is awesome
Pretty self-explanatory here yet it's worth trying to determine if the Celtics heart and soul belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of athletes with dyed hair. Is it possible he looks cooler than the Joker?
This series is going the full seven games
These two sides seem evenly matched and incapable of putting the other away with authority. Each are perfectly capable of winning away from home and collapsing at home. All the signs are there for a winner-take-all contest. If any of the next five want to be close, that'd be great.