In Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, the Golden State Warriors can clinch their fourth NBA championship in eight years and solidify themselves as a true dynasty.
This is their opportunity to go from a great team that won a few titles but, according to critics, capitalized on opponents’ injuries in the playoffs and a huge jump in the league’s salary cap that allowed them to sign superstar Kevin Durant in 2016.
Game 6 will take place at the Boston Garden, and although it’s not the original Boston Garden from the 20th century, opponents still have to be wary of the ghosts of the storied Celtics past.
If Golden State clinches the world title on Thursday, it can add another accomplishment to its growing list.
It would become only the second team to ever clinch the championship in Boston after the 1985 Los Angeles Lakers, a team that it seems to be at least somewhat modeled after.
Only one team has closed out Boston on its home floor in the NBA Finals — the 1985 Los Angeles @Lakers.
If @warriors close things out on Thursday, that’s the elite company they would join. pic.twitter.com/s5ucqWr2sc
— Joe L. Hughes II (@JoeLHughesII) June 14, 2022
The Celtics Mystique Is Real
For decades, when they really needed it at home, the Celtics always seemed to enjoy the luck of the Irish.
Whether it was John Havlicek‘s steal in Game 7 of the 1965 Eastern Division Finals, Gerald Henderson‘s steal in the 1984 Finals, or Larry Bird‘s steal in the 1987 East Finals, Boston has seemingly had the leprechauns on its side throughout its history.
The team those leprechauns haunted more than others was the Lakers.
Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and later Wilt Chamberlain could never beat the Celtics in the Finals, and in 1984, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar choked away the world championship on the infamous parquet floor.
That made it eight times the Lakers faced Boston on the grand stage, and eight times they lost to Boston there.
But in 1985, L.A. got back to the championship series and got itself a ring versus the Celtics.
After the series was tied at two games apiece, the Lakers took Game 5 at home, then finished a tired Boston team in Massachusetts in Game 6.
On this day in 1985, the Lakers beat the Celtics in Game 6 to win the NBA Finals for the first time ever against Boston. LA had lost the first eight Finals series all-time against the Celtics. pic.twitter.com/O0gVV2B3K7
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 9, 2022
That was the first time the Celtics had ever lost the final game of the Finals at home.
The Warriors Have A Touch Of Those Showtime Lakers
The Lakers of the 1980s won five rings with the greatest fast-break in the history of the game, and it is a style of play today’s Warriors possess.
But they also have a chip off the old block.
It has seemingly given the younger Thompson some extra incentive to beat the men in green.
Then there’s Jerry West, who as the general manager of the Showtime Lakers took them from a great team to arguably the greatest team ever.
He became a member of the Warriors’ executive board in 2011, and under his leadership, they won their first two titles.
The Warriors may not be able to match the Lakers’ overall tradition and mystique, but with one more win, they will achieve their own piece of everlasting greatness.