Mavericks Look to Open NBA Finals with Game 1 Win

Dallas Mavericks
Dereck Lively II | Image by Dallas Mavericks/Facebook

The Dallas Mavericks are set to begin the NBA Finals in Game 1 against the Boston Celtics on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

The Mavericks came into the playoffs this year after finishing the regular season as the fifth seed in the Western Conference with a record of 50-32, while the Celtics finished as the first seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 64-18.

Dallas has been led in the postseason by guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, who have helped the Mavericks to a 12-5 record through their first three series.

Doncic has led the team in nearly all statistical categories during its postseason run, averaging 28.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 1.6 rebounds.

Irving has played a significant role in the Mavericks reaching the final series of the year, as he has averaged 22.8 points while shooting 48.5% from the field and an incredible 42.1% from behind the three-point line.

Although Dallas has yet to open a series with home-court advantage during its three matchups, the team has finished with a 7–2 record while playing on the road and has scored more points while shooting more efficiently from all levels of the court.

However, Dallas will face a Celtics team that has been effective on its home court, winning six of its eight games during its playoff run while averaging nearly 115 points per game.

Dallas will be making its first finals appearance since the team won the championship in 2011 behind Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki, who helped the team defeat Lebron James and the Miami Heat in six games.

Although the Celtics have not won an NBA Championship since 2008, Boston made the NBA Finals in 2022 before losing to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

Mavericks Head Coach Jason Kidd said he sees similarities between this year’s team and the 2011 Mavericks team that won the championship when he played point guard, pointing to “resilience” as one of the key factors that helped both teams reach the NBA Finals.

“Understanding that this group believes in each other. The connection offensively and defensively but off the floor too — this is a special group,” he explained, according to NBA.com.

Dallas found itself down 1-0 to the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder in each of its first two series during this playoff run; however, the Mavericks went on to win both of these series in six games following consistent play from various members of the team.

Claiming one win in the first two games of the series would mean that the Mavericks have stolen home-court advantage before the teams travel back to Dallas to play in American Airlines Center for Games 3 and 4.

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