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Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving Lead Mavs Against Celtics in NBA Title Clash



Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving Lead Mavs Against Celtics in NBA Title Clash

The NBA Finals are set to be an exhilarating showdown as the upstart Dallas Mavericks, led by scoring champion Luka Doncic (25) and sharpshooter Kyrie Irving (32), take on the favored Boston Celtics. The series begins on Thursday, with the Mavericks looking to overcome the league’s top team.

Ex-Celtics standout Irving anticipates a hostile reception in Boston, a city he left five years ago for Brooklyn. His departure left Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to elevate the Celtics to an NBA-best 64 wins this season.

“They’re the best team in the NBA,” Doncic acknowledged. “They have by far the best record, some incredible weapons on offense and defense, so we’re going to have to play really hard and amazing basketball to beat them.”

Tatum, who led the Celtics to the 2022 finals where they lost to Golden State, views this year’s opportunity as a chance for redemption. “There’s a lot myself, and we, can learn from the experience of being in the finals. This go-around is a lot different,” Tatum said. “I’m really just looking at it as a second chance and trying to simplify things as much as we can.”

Boston aims to secure its 18th NBA championship, which would break the record it shares with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics last won the title in 2008. Meanwhile, the Mavericks are chasing their second championship, their first coming in 2011.

Irving will be at the emotional center of the series due to his tumultuous history with Boston. “I’m better at consolidating the emotions now,” Irving said. “You call it animosity. We call it hate. We call it, ‘It’s going to be hell in Boston.'”

Irving has been impressive, averaging 22.8 points in the playoffs. Doncic, who averaged 33 points in the regular season, has maintained stellar playoff stats with 28.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game.

Boston’s defensive prowess, featuring guards Jrue Holiday and Derrick White, will be critical. “There’s really no stopping them. You just try to make it difficult for them,” White said. “They’re going to take tough shots and they’re going to make tough shots. Just trust that over 48 minutes what we’re doing is going to work.”

Tatum averages 26.0 points and 10.4 rebounds in the playoffs, while Brown averages 25.0 points. Boston’s three-point shooting, led by these key players, has been a significant factor, with the team undefeated when making 14 or more three-pointers in a game.

Mavericks coach Jason Kidd acknowledges the Celtics’ strengths. “Boston shoots the three at a high rate,” Kidd said. “They have a lot of talented players. They’ve been here before, they have the experience. They’re well-coached. This is another great test.”

Dallas center Dereck Lively isn’t fazed by Boston’s experience. “They have a lot of tradition, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is who’s going to go harder on the court,” Lively said. “It’s going to be a dogfight out there, but we’re going to keep swinging and see what happens.”

The Celtics expect to have Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis back from a right calf strain, adding another layer of excitement to this highly anticipated matchup.

“He has been working extremely hard just to get back and to help us in any way he can,” White said. Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla added, “When KP is at his best, he has been tremendous for us. We expect that from him.”

With both teams poised for a fierce contest, the NBA Finals promise to be a thrilling series showcasing top-tier talent and competitive spirit.

Source: ghmediahub