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NBA Finals: Overview in Celtics-Mavericks Series

Both the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks won their playoffs series convincingly. It seems like both teams wanted more time to get ready for the NBA Finals, which starts on June 6th.

The Celtics had the best record in the NBA all season. They dominated the Eastern Conference and got to play all their playoff games at home. The Mavericks did well too. Their record would have been the second best in the Eastern Conference, but they were only the 5th seed in the tougher Western Conference.  

The Mavericks had a tough road to the Finals. They had to beat strong teams like the Clippers, Thunder, and Timberwolves in the playoffs. Each win made them look more like a serious contender for the championship.

The Celtics, on the other hand, had a much easier path. As the favorites, they mostly avoided trouble, but some losses to the Heat and Cavaliers made some people question their focus and Jayson Tatum’s intensity.

Boston won both their games against Dallas this season, showing their dominance. This is their 23rd time in the Finals, while Dallas is making their third appearance, hoping to repeat their surprise win over Miami’s “super team” in 2011.

Series schedule 

Here’s how to watch the Celtics vs. Mavericks Finals: 

  • Game 1: Mavericks vs. Celtics, June 6 (8:30 p.m., ABC) 
  • Game 2: Mavericks vs. Celtics, June 9 (8 p.m., ABC) 
  • Game 3: Celtics vs. Mavericks, June 12 (8:30 p.m., ABC) 
  • Game 4: Celtics vs. Mavericks, June 14 (8:30 p.m., ABC) 
  • Game 5: Mavericks vs. Celtics, June 17 (8:30 p.m., ABC)* 
  • Game 6: Celtics vs. Mavericks, June 20 (8:30 p.m., ABC)* 
  • Game 7: Mavericks vs. Celtics, June 23 (8 p.m., ABC)* 

Top Storyline 

The upcoming NBA Finals will be a battle of strengths in the backcourt. Many believe Dallas has the most powerful offensive backcourt ever, with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Boston counters with a lockdown defensive backcourt in Jrue Holiday and Derrick White.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Dallas Mavericks: Doncic and Irving are offensive powerhouses, capable of making incredible plays even under pressure.
  • Boston Celtics:  Holiday and White are defensive specialists, known for disrupting even the best scorers. Irving has been focusing more on defense this playoffs, but Doncic tends to save his energy for offense.

This matchup will be exciting to watch. Can Dallas’ offense overcome Boston’s defense? Or will the Celtics clamp down and shut them down? 

The Dallas backcourt of Doncic and Irving combined for 112 points in the two regular-season games against the Celtics, which was more than half (51%) of their team’s total scoring output in those games. However, Boston’s backcourt of Holiday and White only scored 47 points.

This scoring disparity might seem lopsided, but the Celtics’ supporting cast outscored the Mavericks’ supporting cast by a significant margin (210-108). Overall, the two teams combined for 477 points in their two regular-season meetings.

Even though Doncic and Irving were the offensive leaders for Dallas in the regular season meetings, Boston’s defense was able to contain them to a certain degree. The Celtics’ overall team play was more balanced, with significant contributions from players outside of the starting backcourt.

Porzingis: A Potential X-Factor for Boston

Boston’s big man, Kristaps Porzingis, could be a game-changer in the Finals. He got injured early in the playoffs and hasn’t played since. 

Here’s why his return is important:

  • Dallas’ Strength Up Front: The Mavericks have several athletic big men like Gafford and Lively who can jump high and finish alley-oop passes from Doncic. They also have scorers like Jones and Washington who’ve stepped up in the playoffs.
  • Al Horford Needs Help: Boston’s veteran center, Horford, has been solid but he’s 38 and could use some support against Dallas’ deep frontcourt.
  • Porzingis’ Skills: At 7’2″ and 240 pounds, Porzingis offers size and scoring ability. He can average 20 points and block shots, giving the Celtics a much-needed presence in the paint.
  • Coaching Advantage: With Porzingis back, Coach Mazzulla will have more options in his rotation after a long playoff run.

Overall, Porzingis’ return is a big boost for Boston. His size, scoring, and defense could be the difference against a strong Dallas frontcourt. 

In Last

Many experts predict Celtics will win the championship in 6 games. Dallas has a completely different team from last year and their fans’ championship dream is much less intense than Boston’s. The Celtics are very experienced with multiple conference finals appearances and this is their second Finals in just 3 years. Their star players and coach are all hungry for that championship title.  While just wanting it doesn’t guarantee victory, Boston has a strong combination of talent, depth, experience and home court advantage that should be enough to win. 

Tags: Celtics-Mavericks Series, NBA Finals

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