Dallas Mavericks: Down 0-3 to the Boston Celtics

Game 4 of the NBA Finals could be the most important game of Luka’s career. Photo Courtesy: Erik Drost

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

What Happened in Game 3
The Dallas Mavericks are a wounded team. I picked the Mavericks to win in all 3 of the first games of this series. Boston has beat the Mavericks to the punch in all 3 games. When the Mavericks start that “One Man Gang basketball” the Celtics go up 10 to 20 points and Dallas starts launching 3-point shots to try and catch up. Here’s the problem with Dallas. There’s no physical toughness on this team. P.J. Washington, Derrick Jones, Jr and Maxi Kleber can’t match up with Boston’s big men and forwards. Dallas needs a 3rd option to stay competitive in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Dallas has lost every game in the late stages of the 3rd quarter in this series. Dallas will need to clean up the defensive rebounding on that side of the floor. Celtics guard Jrue Holiday has more rebounds than Derrick Jones Jr. and Daniel Gafford. Second chance shots have killed Dallas because the Mavericks do a horrible job of rotating on defense. Game 3 showed us 2 things: Dallas can bounce back from a 19+ point downfall to get back into a game and the Mavericks can’t score a bucket inside of 3 minutes of the 4th quarter to finish games against the Celtics.

What to watch for:
Dallas will need to play solid defense! Dallas can’t afford to allow the Celtics to control the game. Look for someone to become the 3rd option that Dallas needs. The key will be stopping the ball on the wing and preventing guys from getting into the paint and scoring uncontested layups. Dallas used 11 players in Game 3 and still didn’t find the right combination to get a win.

Players to watch:
Kyrie Irving found the missing pieces for his game. He scored 35 points on 13-28 from the field and 5-5 from the free throw line. He played 45 minutes and kept Dallas close. Luka Doncic scored 27 and fouled out in the 4th quarter. Derek Lively II and Derrick Jones, Jr. will need to be solid on the defensive end. I would like to see Markieff Morris on the floor. The team is missing a defensive and physical presence.

Game 4
Boston Celtics vs Dallas Mavericks
Date: June 14
Time: 7:30 PM
I hate having to throw in the towel at this point. Dallas seems to be beat up with no fire left in the furnace. I can be optimistic and believe in my Mavericks, but after what I’ve seen in the first 3 games Dallas has an incredible mountain to climb. History tells us that no team in NBA history has overcome an 0-3 deficit to win the series. The last player to win the scoring title and NBA championship was Shaq in 1998-1999. Can Dallas pull it off? We shall see. ESPN has the Celtics with a 59.0% chance of winning the title in Dallas. I’m taking Dallas by 5! I believe that we will win tonight!
Final Score: Celtics 100 – Mavericks 105