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NBA Playoffs: How much do the Celtics resemble the Warriors?

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The Ringer had an interesting article today about how the Boston Celtics resemble the Golden State Warriors, which could make for a really interesting NBA Finals matchup.

Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics will host the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight at 5:30 p.m. PST on ESPN in Game 2 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals.

The Celtics enter the game with a somewhat shocking 1-0 lead — it’s not so much the fact of the Celtics winning that was surprising (they have home court advantage) but much moreso that they blew out LeBron James and the Cavs by a tally of 108-83.

After the Celtics used a 25-2 run to build an advantage over the Cavs in Game 1, Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer made the observation the Celtics are starting to resemble the Warriors.

There are interesting parallels between Boston and Golden State in terms of the matchup problems they cause. Defenses typically want as much length and athleticism on Steph Curry as possible, but cross-switching on defense forces point guards into a shooting alley where Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Shaun Livingston take turns scoring over them. A lack of size on the perimeter killed New Orleans in its series against Golden State, and it could be an issue for Houston, whose best offensive lineups feature two smaller guards in Chris Paul and Eric Gordon...The Celtics effectively took Game 1 after a 25-2 run over a six-and-a-half-minute stretch in the first quarter, getting stops and running into open 3s. It was the type of run the Warriors have perfected over the past few seasons.

What the Celtics don’t have, as the article discusses later, is the defensive versatility of the Hamptons 5 lineup that allows them to “be as invulnerable to bigger lineups as Golden State.” Although there’s an interesting suggestion there that Jalen Brown has the physique to hold up against bigger forwards — perhaps similar to the way Harrison Barnes did during his time with the Warriors -- that’s clearly something the Celtics will have to figure out. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of excitement for the future of this franchise with guys like Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving coming back next season.

And beating the Cavs to make the 2018 NBA Finals would be quite a remarkable story; today, they have a chance to move one step closer.