Boston Celtics Dominate Dallas Mavericks in Series Inaugural Game

At the outset of the 2024 NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics secured a dominant 107-89 triumph over the Dallas Mavericks, showcasing the opponent’s poorest offensive display this postseason. Celtics playmaker Jrue Holiday underscored the merit of varied defenders pitching in to restrain Mavericks standout Luka Doncic, noting it as a synergistic defensive tactic.

“Having an array of individuals assume defensive duties offers advantages,” Holiday declared. “Each one presents a unique defensive approach—some apply more pressure, others approach more subtly. Yet, my belief is that every one of our players, including those frequently underrated, possess the prowess to execute robust defense. We aim for this to pose a significant barrier to him and strive to sustain such fervent defense.”

Holiday’s words were not a veiled mention of Celtics’ Derrick “White,” but rather an acknowledgment of the defensive contributions from colleagues like Payton Pritchard and Sam Houser.

The Celtics’ defensive capabilities were indeed imposing this term, yielding the third least points (107.9) with the third most stingy opponent field goal percentage (45.5%), spanning the regular rounds and ongoing playoffs.

In a rather astonishing show of defense in the preceding match’s success, the Celtics equaled the Mavericks in rejections to assists tally.

For the Mavericks, Kyrie Irving tallied 12 points and 2 assists, whereas Luka Doncic, ranking second for average assists in the league (9.8), was restricted to a sole assist beside his 30 points during the opening game.

Notwithstanding the praise for his allies, Holiday, renowned for his defensive acumen, will persist as a pivotal figure in the Celtics’ strategic endeavors to maintain firm control over Doncic throughout the contest series.

NBA luminary Larry Bird once articulated his aversion to being marked by competitors he considered inferior in skill, stating, “One aspect that perpetually irked me when I competed in the NBA was the feeling of insult when they assigned a defender I viewed as subpar. It offended my belief in my talent.”

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