Celtics vs Warriors (Recent) History

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
22,922
Pittsburgh, PA
There's a thread about the 2022 editions of the teams, and their forthcoming titanic struggle. That's all great.

But it's also a long 4 days until Game 1, and in between, my thoughts have turned to all of the great games these two teams have played, in particular the last few years. In the Steve Kerr / Marcus Smart era (since summer 2014), it was pointed out that there's only one team that has a winning record against the Warriors. Yep. C's are 9-7 vs GSW in that span.

There's two games in that run that I'd like to highlight, and I'd invite others to nominate some good watchin' as well. Because I think some of these games still say something, even with the years in between then and now, about how the two teams match up and their respective team cultures.

The first is April 1st, 2016. In the 2015-16 season, the Warriors would of course break the NBA record for wins in a season, and went a mind-boggling 39-2 at home. As of April 1st, however, they had won 54 straight games at home, itself an NBA record. Had not lost in Oakland since January 2015, so 15 months. We were coming off a tough west coast road trip with back to back losses at the Clippers and Portland. Anyway, here's 22 minutes well spent:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkPjzQe3laY


In it you'll see:
- Marcus Smart doing plenty of Marcus Smart things, though perhaps not peak Smart
- Izayer building his "king in the 4th" reputation (this was one of the games that made me fall in love with him)
- Avery Bradley having some remarkable agility
- Steph making at least 4 or 5 absolutely absurd shots

...But of course, it's the possessions they don't show which mattered too. I started noting the length of time in between those made-bucket highlights, wishing I could see some of the defensive plays.

(palate cleanser from March 2017: Curry taunts rookie Jaylen Brown, who he thought was yapping too much. I wonder if Jaylen remembers?)

The other game I'll bring up is November 16, 2017, in Boston. The teams are a bit more recognizable: Horford, Brown, and a rookie Tatum (6 weeks into his NBA career) making a cameo. Looney into the first season where he actually played in the playoffs and was a rotation contributor. Durant was the recent signing by the defending-champ Dubs, which had caused just a bit of consternation around the league. And away we go:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48ys3FMNLH0


What stood out to me:
- It appeared that Jaylen Brown perhaps did, in fact, remember the previous spring's matchup and taunt
- During the 19-0 run that turned the game around, you'll note it began with Irving subbing off and Scary Terry coming on, even if the star of that run was Brown
- Horford has noticeably more spring in his step on offense than he does today
- I had forgotten what a threat Draymond is from 3. It's not his first option but if you give it to him he'll take it.
- Half of Curry's magic is an absolutely instantaneous release on the outside shot. Sure, he's got the range and accuracy, but part of that has got to be the fact that it's out of his hands before his defender even gets in close-out range. That's got to be a skill that ages exceptionally well.

Anyway, those two games felt like they still had plenty of context to offer us. Maybe you prefer the classics, or more recent vintages, but there's lots to choose from.
 

cardiacs

Admires Neville Chamberlain
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
3,024
Milford, CT
I would say the Dec 11 2015 game is just as good. I was living in Denmark at the time, and they happened to have this game on TV, so it had some extra significance to me.
One of my favorite Celtics games of all time that ended up as a loss.
 

m0ckduck

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,990
The first is April 1st, 2016. In the 2015-16 season, the Warriors would of course break the NBA record for wins in a season, and went a mind-boggling 39-2 at home.
This was fun, thanks.
- Steph making at least 4 or 5 absolutely absurd shots
The moment where he hits a ridiculous three from one step in front of the mid-court logo and the announcer makes a strange noise that sounds like "HAAAGH-Hooooooh!"

Jeez, the Boston front court in this game, with Evan Turner, Amir Johnson and Jared Sullinger starting (Jae Crowder was injured). Jonas Jarebko getting serious time off the bench. Feels like a long, long time ago. I was half expecting Dino Radja to check in. I was discussing with a friend recently how this respectable run that Boston has been on with 7 trips to the ECF in 14 years feels borderline amazing when you consider how little roster stability there's been. While we obviously hope to see the current core win a bunch of rings, I'd settle for a stretch of continuity around a likable, competitive core.

Isaiah Thomas was so quick with the dribble— I'd forgotten about this. His acceleration on the break in just amazing. Edit: There's a play at about 12:20 where he gets from mid court to the hoop in two dribbles— generally something you associate with tall players like Giannis— and still has enough to absorb contact from Draymond and finish the 3-point play.
 
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InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
22,922
Pittsburgh, PA
Had this clip just come across my feed, reminding me of these games. We were the Warriors' achilles heel, right up until it really really mattered. And while I was already following the team a good bit during this season, I'd have to say this game was the one that really brought me back to regular fandom after largely losing interest after the end of the Big 3 era. I knew the Billy King picks would matter, eventually, but it was going to take years to prove out (and has). But even in the absence of our current juggernaut, the team of this era - of Brad Stevens not giving a crap and out-coaching everyone, of players outperforming expectations (Evan Turner got lots of votes for 6MOY!), of a younger Marcus being an absolute menace to anyone within range of him - was damned fun.

View: https://twitter.com/CelticsRiley/status/1762984671468531863



Hoping we get 'em back on Sunday, for that OT loss in SF earlier in the season.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,853
Hingham, MA
Had this clip just come across my feed, reminding me of these games. We were the Warriors' achilles heel, right up until it really really mattered. And while I was already following the team a good bit during this season, I'd have to say this game was the one that really brought me back to regular fandom after largely losing interest after the end of the Big 3 era. I knew the Billy King picks would matter, eventually, but it was going to take years to prove out (and has). But even in the absence of our current juggernaut, the team of this era - of Brad Stevens not giving a crap and out-coaching everyone, of players outperforming expectations (Evan Turner got lots of votes for 6MOY!), of a younger Marcus being an absolute menace to anyone within range of him - was damned fun.

View: https://twitter.com/CelticsRiley/status/1762984671468531863



Hoping we get 'em back on Sunday, for that OT loss in SF earlier in the season.
1) I forgot how small he was LOL
2) I can't believe Curry missed
 

chilidawg

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Jan 22, 2015
6,403
Cultural hub of the universe
But even in the absence of our current juggernaut, the team of this era - of Brad Stevens not giving a crap and out-coaching everyone, of players outperforming expectations (Evan Turner got lots of votes for 6MOY!), of a younger Marcus being an absolute menace to anyone within range of him - was damned fun
Absolutely.