Skip Bayless Makes Wild NBA Finals Prediction: ‘Greatest Game Ever’
Heading into the NBA Finals, you expect to see some crazy takes, sometimes it’s a fan predicting a sweep, other times an analyst expecting a slump, and with the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors preparing to face off, the grapples started coming in thick and fast.
On a recent episode of The UndisputedSkip Bayless went further and prophesied that the match between Marcus Smart and Stephen Curry was the “greatest individual match of all time”.
“Okay, so, I charge that, and I’m not exaggerating when I charge it that way. This is the greatest individual game in Finals history. As I told you earlier, we had Magic vs Bird, but they weren’t watching each other, they were both heroes and now we have the ultimate hero, the baby-faced assassin, who’s in all the other commercials, who spends more time at television in commercials than in the field.
And he’s up against Defensive Player of the Year, who brought him in, who hurt him in Steve Kerr’s eyes, at least dangerously, wiped him out for 12 games. And then compounded the issues by karate kicking his running mate Klay (Thompson) in the face… Blood is bad,” Bayless said.
Smart has a fantastic track record against Stephen Curry, having won six of his ten games against the superstar guard, and hopes that winning streak will continue throughout their NBA Finals streak.
Steve Kerr expects Smart to make an impact
Kerr has worked with Smart before, having spent time with him at Team USA’s FIBA World Cup a few years ago, so he’s seen with his own eyes what the defensive kingpin of Boston is capable.
When speaking to the media on June 1, Kerr was again asked about his opinion on Smart’s ability to be a key factor in the upcoming NBA Finals series, and the Warriors head coach noted the similarities between Defensive Player of the Year and Draymond Green.
“I coached Marcus at the World Cup a few summers ago, along with Jayson, Jaylen and Kemba. Back then we had four Celtics in the squad. I got to know those guys a bit; Jayson last year during the Olympics, so it’s fun to get to know them.
But Marcus, I described him yesterday as sort of a guard version of Draymond. He’s just everywhere defensively. Really, really smart. Anticipate the games. Includes angles. The versatility to keep 1 to 5. It’s all there. So there’s a reason he won Defensive Player of the Year. He’s a great, great defender and probably an underrated offensive player as well,” Kerr said.
It should be noted that Kerr and Smart recently had words after Smart accidentally injured Curry in the Celtics’ March 16 game against the Warriors.
Draymond Green assaults with Kerr
There aren’t many players who are more vocal or outgoing than Draymond Green, and when asked if Kerr draws comparisons between him and Smart, the Warriors veteran was quick to agree. .
“I think he really thinks about the game. You can see that in the way he plays, the way he teaches guys, the way he gets attention in the caucuses and goes through the Xs and O’s in the caucuses. You see everything.
I think he does a great job in that regard. I talked about it a lot. I think people tend to forget that Marcus Smart or Positive’s #1 attribute coming out of the draft was his leadership and that he’s a winner and a true leader. The qualities he has, especially on this side of the ball, are those of a leader, are those – when you see it with the teaching of the Xs and the O’s – of a playmaker,” Green told the media.
Smart has been outstanding since taking the reins as the Celtics’ starting point guard and has dramatically improved his on-field decision-making. On offense, the Texas native learned to be judicial with his shot selection while improving his passing ability and understanding of how to dictate the tempo of a game, while on defense Smart became a leader. and can regularly be seen quarterbacking his teammates.
When the NBA Finals kicks off on June 2, Smart will have the unenviable task of guarding Curry, but if recent history has taught us anything, it’s that he’ll thrive under the pressure of challenge.