top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrian Attard

Consider this—Celtics should cap a championship season

courtesy photo

The NBA Finals will tip off on Thursday night, June 6, as the Dallas Mavericks will take on the Boston Celtics to decide this year’s champion.

The Mavericks return to the Finals for the first time since 2011, when Dirk Nowitzki led an underdog group to take down the vaunted Miami Heat, led by LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Dallas has been on the upswing since bringing in Luka Dončić in the 2018 draft. Following an off year last season, the Mavericks returned to the playoffs and were able to navigate through the Western Conference with relative ease, despite being the 5 seed and having to take down the higher seeded Clippers, Thunder, and Timberwolves in their path.

The Celtics are back in the Finals for the second time in three seasons, having lost to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors two years ago. If the Mavericks’ road was easy, then the Celtics barely broke a sweat getting through the Eastern Conference. Boston eliminated the Heat, Cavaliers, and Pacers having lost a total of 2 games. It certainly helped matters that all three of the Celtics opponents were missing their respective best player at a point in each series, but Boston has been dominant all season. The Celtics won 64 games and really ran away with the top spot in the East by February.

The storylines surrounding this matchup present some interesting subplots to follow. There is a bit of David versus Goliath to this series. The Celtics were the favorite to win the NBA Championship when the season started, while the Mavericks odds were outside the top ten.

The Celtics are a very deep team, with star power all over their roster. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the way this year, averaging 26.9 and 23 points per game respectively.

They are complimented by veteran presence Jrue Holiday, and former Maverick Kristaps Porzingis, who has not played since Round 1 due to injury, but is expected back to start the Finals.

The Mavericks are led by the aforementioned Dončić, who led the league with 33.9 points per game. Dallas also features a player whom Celtics fans are very familiar with in point guard Kyrie Irving. Irving spent two years in Boston after forcing a trade away from the Cavaliers, hoping to establish himself outside of the shadow of LeBron James. He found his way to Dallas after some time with the Nets. While his arrival in Dallas didn’t go over too smoothly to start, he and Dončić found rhythm this year, and Irving finished 14th in the league in scoring.

The Mavericks have a “feel good story” vibe around them, but the Celtics have felt like the champions waiting for their crown for months now. The Celtics are an excellent defensive team, and while Dončić is sure to get his points, it will be a struggle for the Mavericks to keep up. Boston bulldozed their way through the playoffs without Porzingis for the most part, and his return should seal the record 18th championship for the Celtics.

Celtics in 5.

Brian Attard is a lifelong resident of Hammonton, avid sports fan and host on The Sports Box Network (@SportsBoxSports on all social media platforms).


bottom of page