Tonight, the Golden State Warriors will go for their fourth championship of the Steph Curry Era, facing a very determined Boston Celtics team that hasn’t lost three straight games since 2021. Look, you can find really smart breakdowns of the matchups and strategies elsewhere on this very fine site, but I’m here to discuss the Vibes Keys to Game Six for each team.
Steph Curry: Ayesha Curry’s restaurant, International Smoke, already has 20 bookings today on Open Table, and that’s with a Warriors Finals game happening just an hour after the place opens. Overall, six of the last nine reviews have given the place five stars, so Steph shouldn’t feel the need to defend his wife’s cooking at all. How does Steph shoot in the next game after he failed to make a three, as happened in Game Five? Well one time he set an NBA record with 13 three-pointers, and in general - well, let’s let the big boss explain.
When Steph Curry has failed to make a three, and then played in the next game, he's shot 93-for-177 (52.5%) from distance. https://t.co/OwDnhH6LfB— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) June 14, 2022
He averages 4.4 made threes in such games, so go ahead and pencil him in for somewhere between five and 13 triples.
Draymond Green: Seems pretty relaxed in warmups, according to Marcus Thompson.
Draymond was grooving to “My Prerogative” at shootaround— Marcus Thompson II (@ThompsonScribe) June 16, 2022
The real question is whether Draymond’s podcast equipment is waterproof. If so, he should play free and easy, knowing that even a champagne celebration won’t stop him from recording directly after the game. He can focus on defense and rebounding, knowing that his sponsors at Blue Apron and SimpliSafe home security will still be getting their ad reads.
Jayson Tatum: It all depends on what he wears to the game. Ideally, he’d want to do some sort of tribute to his hero, Kobe Bryant, and his last Finals Game Six, back in 2010, when Bean had 26 points, 11 rebounds, and four steals in a win. But that game was also an 89-67 loss for the Boston Celtics, which seems like a bad omen. In 2008’s Game Six, Boston crushed Kobe and the Lakers by 39 points, so that doesn’t work either.
What should Tatum wear? A Jalen Rose Indiana Pacers jersey, to troll ESPN’s pre-game show, and to give a tribute to Kobe’s first Game 6 win, the 2000 Finals game against Rose’s Pacers that won Bryant his first title. Rose was also guarding Kobe during the 2006 game when Kobe scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, making it a double troll. Last game it was a Tiger Woods t-shirt, maybe not the best choice for a guy whose legs seem tired after playing almost 4,000 minutes this season, so we will have to judge Tatum’s vibes when we see the pregame fit.
Klay Thompson: It’s a Game Six, so Klay Thompson is going to ascend to a higher level of play. If he manages to take a dip in the ocean today, even better. Game Six Klay is essentially regular Klay with a Mario star, with the only danger being that the basketball might actually catch fire leaving his hands and singe the nets.
Jaylen Brown: He was doing Michael Jackson dance moves during yesterday’s practice, so he’s on a similar level of chill to Draymond.
“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” is perfect, because that’s what Boston fans constantly remind you about the Brown-Tatum duo - they’re pretty young. Is that youthful energy enough to overcome the pretty experience Warriors? All I can say is, Game Six is shaping up to be a Thriller.
Andrew Wiggins: Maple Jordan has been a revelation in this series, particularly in the last two games, but you hear very little about the guarded star’s personal life, or opinions on anything except vaccination. Even when he excels in a Finals game, the questions to his teammates always seem to involve, “Was Andrew smiling at all afterward? Does he seem happy?” Well we know one thing that makes Wiggins happy: The music of Michael Bolton.
it’s great that Andrew Wiggins is getting his flowers but this is still unimpeachably the best moment of his nba career pic.twitter.com/7NhxkCFeaK— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) June 15, 2022
Could we get some Bolton in the shootaround playlist? It’s like Michael Jordan getting pumped up by singing Anita Baker songs - Wiggins needs the Warriors to blast “When A Man Loves A Woman” in the locker room to ensure another double-digit rebounding effort.
Marcus Smart: Smart has been shooting very well in the Finals, hitting over 40% of his three-pointers, well above his season average. But he’s also been turning the ball over a lot - 16 times in the Finals, including four last game. Smart’s game is defense and playmaking. He needs to go out and absolutely clank his first two three-point attempts so as to remove the temptation for him to take more of them late in the game. With his shooting reverting to normal, perhaps his turnovers will as well, and his teammates that are paid for their offense will be given scoring responsibilities late.
Gary Payton II: He needs to remember that the Celtics once traded his dad off a playoff team to the lowly Atlanta Hawks in 2005. Sure, Gary turned around and signed with the Celtics a week later after Atlanta waived him (this used to be legal under the CBA), but for those eight days, it was pure disrespect, and GPII needs to avenge his father’s honor with three or four steals tonight.
Robert Williams: The status of Time Lord’s injured knee is so crucial for this series, and so unknowable - like the price of cryptocurrency to the Warriors. Williams has been so dominant defensively for Boston that he’s arguably been their most important player, and as such, observers have become amateur orthopedic surgeons when it comes to his balky knee. He danced a little bit in practice yesterday - does that mean he can play 35 minutes? He also seemed to limp after getting Curry on a switch a few days ago - is that another tweak, or fatigue, or something else? Williams really should come out for warmups in a giant brace, then whip it off dramatically for a Willis Reed-like entrance into the game - and then hope Marcus Smart doesn’t dive into his knee again.
Mike Brown: Stay positive, stay focused, and try to forget that after the series is over, he has to go work for the Sacramento Kings.
Derrick White: After a “White”-hot Game One, the Celtics’ third guard’s shooting has fallen off as the series progressed. The problem is that, while he really stepped up his play after the birth of his son back on May 19th, a traditional “baby boost” that propelled Fred VanVleet to a title, it’s now been four weeks. Now White is past the excitement of a newborn son, and further into the sleeplessness of a month-old baby. We need dance video to determine some player’s pre-game vibes - for White, vibes analysts truly need some nanny cam footage to see how well this baby is sleeping through the night. Unfortunately, it’s medically impossible for his wife to have a second baby in time for tip off.
Nemanja Bjelica: If he’s throwing behind-the-back passes in practice, it might be time to sit the big man down. He’s an underrated defender and rebounder, but a wildly overrated ball handler and passer in his own mind.
Dave Portnoy: If he’s sitting courtside in one of his little t-shirts again, the Celtics are doomed.
Guy Fieri: Perhaps the Warriors fan with the best possible vibes - apologies to E-40. The key omen for Fieri is that he needs to keep his mind focused on Flavor Town and thus he cannot eat a vegetable at any point today, unless it is deep-fried and covered in donkey sauce.
Bruce Fraser: Just needs to stay handsome, and honestly, he couldn’t stop if he tried.