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Gary Payton: Warriors need to play Gary Payton II


The Golden State Warriors and their fans are still feeling the shock of the fourth-quarter blitz the Boston Celtics dropped on them in Thursday's 120-108 loss in Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals. Boston outscored the Warriors 40-16 in the final frame, while knocking down an -record nine 3-pointers.

The Warriors' defense was solid for most of the night — particularly on Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who was held to 12 points on 3-for-17 shooting — but the fourth-quarter barrage was as much a product of Golden State's poor defense as it was hot shooting from Boston. Celtics wing Jaylen Brown was able to penetrate into the lane, causing the defense to collapse and creating open shots.

Hall of Famer and NBA 75th Anniversary Team member Gary Payton, who spoke with CBS Sports on Friday in a video interview, has a pretty clear idea of how the Warriors can fix their defensive issues for Sunday's Game 2: Play his son, Gary Payton II. The younger Payton has been a defensive stalwart for the Warriors all season, and he was listed as available for Game 1 for the first time since fracturing his left elbow early in the Western Conference semifinals. Despite his availability, Payton II didn't enter Thursday's opener, which confused his father.

“They shouldn't put out that he's available. If you don't think he's ready, then don't put out ‘available,' Just put him in street clothes,” Payton told CBS sports. “Why have him suit up? I don't get that one. That's a mystery to me, but that's their decision.

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