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Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

The Mavs now face an even tougher match against Boston

By meerna Jun11,2024

The second game gave Dallas a huge opportunity.

The Mavericks could return to Dallas with home court advantage in the NBA Finals. They could have tied the title series after one game. They could have put the heavily favored Boston Celtics in their most precarious spot of the season.

Instead, they lose 2-0 and now the chances of winning have increased significantly.

They missed eight free throws, gave up 21 points off turnovers, missed an uncharacteristic three-pointer for the Celtics – 10 for 39 – and also wasted another big effort from Luka Doncic on a night in which he struggled through his ankle. problems with his ribs and knees, but he still did what he wanted. They were better than in the first match. That said, they still weren’t good enough. Final score: Boston 105, Dallas 98 and the Celtics are now two wins away from their record 18th NBA Championship.

“At the end of the day, they’re better than any team we’ve played,” Dallas’ PJ Washington said. “It’s the finals and we just have to be better. … Their record says they have been the best team all year. They have two superstars, many great players and they are a team player. So we have to be better.”

Or.

The only path for Dallas to win the title now is to win four of its next five games against a team that has never come close to losing four in five games at any point during the season. The Celtics are 14-2 in the playoffs, 78-20 overall this season, and the only way to keep their fingerprints from getting on the Larry O’Brien Trophy any time soon is for the team to completely fall apart.

Which is unlikely. Possible, sure. Probably not.

“The road to this point has been great, but we still know that a 2-0 lead means nothing,” said Celtics guard Jrue Holiday, who led Boston with 26 points in Game 2. “The work isn’t done yet. We must do whatever it takes.”

Doncic recorded the 50th triple-double in NBA Finals history – 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. He also had eight turnovers and was just 4-of-8 from the foul line – two reasons he pointed the finger directly at himself after the game.

“At the end of the day, we have to take a few more shots,” Doncic said. I think my turnovers and missed free throws cost us the game. So I need to do much better in these two categories. But at the end of the day, we have to make shots to win the game.

Dallas tied its season-low with six three-pointers, but that’s not what the Mavs should be most regretting when assessing the game from beyond the arc. They went 11-1 in these playoffs, holding teams under 38% on 3s; improve the score to 11-2 as Boston shot 25.6% in Game 2 and won. The Celtics shouldn’t have to face opponents this deep too often.

“Every game we lose is a missed opportunity for us,” Doncic said.

Dallas was right, which will make the loss hurt even more. It still took a couple of improbable Celtics plays – Payton Pritchard’s flawless 34-foot three-pointer to end the third quarter and Derrick White’s chasing block in the final minute of the fourth quarter. in a game where it appeared Washington was fouled on a dunk attempt – Boston finished game 2.

“That’s what Payton Pritchard does,” White said of the deep lift.

In the most important moments, Boston found a way. All this means that this is not the end. Coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the NBA Finals is not unheard of.

The last team to go 2-0 in the final was Phoenix in 2021; The Suns didn’t win another game in that series against Giannis Antetokounmpo, Holiday and Milwaukee. In 2016, Golden State led Cleveland 2-0; Cleveland won in seven games, something Kyrie Irving will no doubt remind his Dallas teammates of now since he hit the three-pointer that essentially sealed the title for LeBron James and the Cavs. And no one needs to tell Dallas that a 2-0 lead doesn’t guarantee anything; The Mavericks had a lead with Dwyane Wade and Miami in 2006, the city planned parade routes, and the Heat won the next four games and captured their first championship.

“We’re not giving up,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “We are optimistic. This is a group that believes. We didn’t have a chance for a split or two away wins here. Now Boston held the serve. Now we have to go home and maintain the service.

I must admit that he made everything sound very simple. But he knows the task is much more difficult now.

By meerna

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