Golden State Warriors are on the verge of a fourth NBA Championship victory in eight years ahead of Game 6 of the NBA Finals Series with Boston Celtics.
The Warriors dominated the NBA between 2015 and 2019, reaching five consecutive Finals and claiming three championships, but they missed out on the playoffs in 2020 and 2021.
Roster changes and injuries impacted Golden State during those two campaigns where they missed out on the postseason but this incarnation of the Dubs look the team to beat once again. Standing in their way of another NBA crown are Boston.
The Celtics are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA and they have won a joint-record 17 titles, alongside the Los Angeles Lakers.
Boston's last success came in 2008 and this is their first trip to the Finals since 2010 - although they have reached the Conference Finals in four of the last six seasons, including the current campaign.
Boston are now rated at 14/5 to win the series, while Golden State are 5/18 to secure the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
What: Golden State Warrior @ Boston Celtics, NBA Finals Game 6
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
When: 02:00, Friday 17h June, 2022
How to watch: Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event or bet365's Sports Live Streaming
Odds: GS Warriors 29/20, BOS Celtics 20/33
Golden State finished the regular season with a 53-29 record after 82 games and had to settle for theb third seed in the Western Conference, behind Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies.
However, the Dubs have raised their game in the postseason, beating a shorthanded Denver Nuggets 4-1 before overcoming Memphis in six games. Golden State then downed Phoenix's conquerors Dallas Mavericks in five games in the Conference Finals, with star man Stephen Curry winning the inaugural Earvin "Magic" Johnson Trophy for the Western Conference Finals MVP award.
Boston finished the regular season with a 51-31 overall record, which was good enough to claim second seed in the East behind Miami Heat, under the guidance of first-year coach Ime Udoka. The Celtics initially struggled but since mid-January have been in sensational form, although they have had a tougher route to the finals than Golden State and have played two games more.
The Celtics swept Brooklyn Nets in the first round but were taken the full distance by last year's winners Milwaukee Bucks and then the Heat in two gruelling series before the Finals.
Boston drew first blood in the Finals with a 120-108 win but the Warriors hit back to split the first two games in San Francisco. The Celtics reclaimed the lead in the first game in Boston, but back-to-back wins have left Golden State one win away from sealing the Championship.
After a rocky start to his tenure, Udoka has managed to turn Boston into an incredibly resilient outfit and until their Game 5 defeat in the Finals, they had only lost two games in a row once since a pair of defeats in January.
Boston have fought back already in the playoffs as they came back from 3-2 down to end the Bucks' title defence, while they trailed Miami 2-1 after the first three games of the Conference Finals.
The Celtics haven't lost three games in a row since the Christmas period and with home advantage in Game 6, there is every chance they will be able to take this series to the full seven games, which would be the first time since 2016 that the Finals Series has required a decider.
The Celtics are 10/11 to win Game 6 with a -4 handicap in the Point Spread and Golden State can be backed at 29/20 in the Money Line.
Curry has been simply incredible throughout the Finals Series and the Golden State star has led the scoring in four of the five games so far. The two-time MVP is 3/10 to win the Finals MVP award, the one individual honour notably missing from his lengthy list of accolades, and if the Dubs do go on to claim the Championship, it seems inevitable he'll pick up that prize.
Jayson Tatum is Boston's leading man but he has had plenty of help from his teammates, with Al Horford, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown all coming up with big performances over the course of the Finals so far.
The Celtics finally managed to find a way to keep Curry quiet in Game 5, limiting him to 16 points, but Golden State's supporting cast stepped up as the other 'Splash Brother' Klay Thompson weighed in with 21 points and Andrew Wiggins impressed.
If Boston are to claw their way back into the series, they need to find a way to cope with Curry without neglecting their defensive duties elsewhere and they need to be near-perfect in every department if they are to win back-to-back games and secure the Championship.