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LWOS NBA Finals Preview and Prediction 

The Celtics and Mavericks are set to face off in an exciting NBA Finals matchup.

The tip off this Thursday with a highly anticipated matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics have been one of the most dominant teams in recent memory. However, the series could truly go either way and projects to be a six to seven-game thriller, especially with how good the Mavericks have been throughout the playoffs highlighted by ‘s stellar run.

To fairly predict this fascinating finals matchup we surveyed our staff of basketball writers. The Celtics won the poll by a close margin earning 54 percent of the votes. For this article, we outline the case for both teams. Eamon Cassels wrote the case for the Celtics while Siddhant Jain wrote the case for the Mavericks. Let’s dive into this NBA Finals preview and make the case for both teams.

LWOS NBA Finals Preview and Prediction

The Case For The Celtics

Throughout the season the Boston Celtics have stood out as the league’s most dominant and talented team. The Celtics finished with a 64-18 record a staggering 14 games ahead of the two-seeded Knicks they also have the fourth-best in NBA history. Furthermore, the Celtics had the best and second-best making them incredibly balanced. Conversely, the Mavericks had the 18th-ranked . All of these stats give the Celtics a massive advantage historically. Teams with a top-five offense and defense have a 7-2 record in the finals. Additionally, only one team in NBA history has won a title with a defense ranked 18th. Eight out of the top ten teams with the highest net ratings ever have gone on to win the title. The Celtics’ plethora of offensive options compared to a more top-heavy Mavericks offense will also play to their advantage.

Despite concerns about the Celtics’ clutch time play in the regular season they ranked fourth in win percentage and sixth in clutch points. In four games, the Celtics are first and fifth in these metrics. From a matchup perspective, the Mavericks’ defense will have trouble containing the elite wing duo of and . Both stars have been highly effective all-around players this playoffs. While the Mavericks’ defense has improved to seventh in the they don’t have the wings to defend Tatum and Brown.

. and are high-quality defenders, especially Jones. However, they are clearly outmatched by Tatum and Brown. Jones will primarily guard Tatum and Washington will mostly guard Brown. There’s a scenario where Jones can somewhat limit Tatum but Washington containing Brown feels improbable especially given Brown’s elite playoff run so far.

Additionally, the return of  will allow Boston to better defend the Mavericks’ lob threats, and . Porzingis also gives them an elite interior scoring presence.  There is no perfect answer to defend the elite duo of Luka Doncic and . However, the Celtics have the best defensive backcourt in the league led by  and . This elite point-of-attack defense paired with the wing presence of Tatum and Brown gives the Celtics a better chance than anyone to contain Luka and Kyrie. Expect the Celtics to constantly change matchups on the Mavs’ backcourt. Ultimately the Celtics’ elite balance and optionality on both ends of the floor give them the advantage in this matchup.

Final Prediction: Celtics in Six

The Case For The Mavericks

An unknown commodity is better than a known commodity that has not performed well in the past. That sentence sums up why I have the Dallas Mavericks winning the championship. There is no metric or data point that supports the Mavericks over the Celtics. The Celtics are better offensively and, defensively. They use their five-man offense to perfection, raining threes on the opponent, even when they don’t fall. This Celtics team has similar stats to some of the greatest teams of all time (I’m talking ’96 Bulls ’17 Warriors, ’86 Celtics) and they seem unbeatable. Everybody talks about how the Celtics haven’t seen a team even close to the Mavs. By the analytics, the Mavs haven’t seen a team as good as the Celtics either.

But, nothing good ever comes from betting against “Luka Legend”. is by far the best player on the court in this series. Don’t believe me? His career in the playoffs are 31.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.2 assists. In the Western Conference Finals, against the best defense in the league, Luka 32.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists on 43.4% from three. If there’s one thing you can bet on, it’s that Luka will not have a bad series. He will find holes in the Celtics defense that you and nobody even knew existed, and he needs a monster series for the Mavs to win it all. Furthermore, this is the best-supporting cast Luka has ever had. Great defenders, lob threats, shot creators, and knock-down shooters, Luka has it all for the first time in his career.

The “known commodity” is the Celtics duo of Tatum and Brown. They are not good in high-pressure situations. We know this. They weren’t good in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, or the NBA finals the year before that. Their for the conference finals are 45 points on 47.1% from the field. Even against the Pacers, despite improved play from the duo, three games were decided by five or fewer points. In those clutch moments, there’s nobody I trust more than Doncic. Even if he fails, you have Kyrie Irving, one of the best closers in the league. The Mavs’ elite clutch time play combined with the uncertainty of Porzingis’ health and production gives Dallas an edge in this series.

Final Prediction: Mavs in Six

 

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