LeBron points to basketball IQ for why Warriors beat Celtics in 2022 Finals: ‘Boston had the better talent’

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

When the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors met in the 2022 NBA Finals, basketball IQ was the difference, according to Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.

The future Hall of Famer believes that the Celtics had a better team from a talent perspective but that the Warriors used their basketball IQ to win the series.

“There’s moments in the game that a coach cannot prepare you for, film can’t prepare you for, the history of the game can’t prepare you for, where you have to have a basketball IQ to make adjustments right away,” James said. “… I believe that when Golden State beat Boston, it came down to IQ in the Finals. ‘Cause Boston, to me, had the better talent. Boston had the better talent. But it came down to IQ. People say experience — IQ.”

Golden State’s core entered the 2022 NBA Finals with a plethora of championship experience under its belt. Five straight trips to the NBA Finals and three championships in the 2010s had the core ready for battle in 2022, while Boston’s core players were experiencing the NBA Finals for the first time.

While James made a distinction between experience and IQ, the Warriors may have had the upper hand in both categories in the 2022 NBA Finals. They won the title in six games despite falling behind 2-1 in the series after three contests.

Golden State was also very opportunistic in the series, taking advantage of Boston’s mistakes to help close the possible talent gap. The championship gave the Warriors their fourth in less than a decade of time.

This season, the Celtics have looked like the best team in the NBA. They have the league’s best record at 54-14 and are looking to return to the NBA Finals with more experience and IQ than they had in 2022.

The Warriors, meanwhile, can never be counted out, but they’re having an underwhelming regular season. They currently hold a play-in spot in the Western Conference with a 35-32 record.

An NBA Finals rematch between the two squads can’t be dismissed as a possibility, but it would require some surprising dominos to fall, particularly in the West. If the Celtics return to the championship series, it’s more likely that they’ll have a new opponent this time around.

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