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4 Reasons Why Celtics Will Beat Mavs, Win NBA Finals

After a very long wait, the NBA Finals will finally tip off with Game 1 on Thursday night, and no one has been anticipating the start of this series more than the Boston Celtics. The team with the top record in the NBA this season has been aiming for another NBA Finals appearance all season long, and now they have the chance to right some wrongs of the past when they collide with the Dallas Mavericks.

The Celtics have been the top team in the NBA odds to win the title for much of the season, so they’ve had all the pressure on them for months. Heading into the seven-game series, Boston is the favorite yet again with -225 odds to defeat the Mavericks, who are listed at +185 in the series odds.

4 Reasons Why Celtics Will Beat Mavs, Win NBA Finals
Jayson Tatum #0 Of The Boston Celtics / Justin Casterline / Getty Images North America / Getty Images Via Afp

So can the Celtics complete their season-long quest to raise the 18th championship banner in franchise history, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most in league history? We say yes, and we have plenty of reasons to back that up. Read on to learn why the Celtics will win the NBA title.

 

 

1. Celtics Keep High-Scoring Teams in Check

There are a lot of teams in the NBA that can score but, as they say, defense wins championships, which is why Boston is sitting in the position it is now. The Celtics were the fifth-best team in the regular season in points allowed at 109.2 per contest, and that’s only improved in the postseason.

Boston has held its three opponents – the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers – to just 101.3 points per game in cruising to a 12-2 playoff record thus far. Indiana was the highest-scoring team in the postseason heading into the Eastern Conference finals, but the Celtics were able to get the sweep by keeping the Pacers from running away with a game on the fast break.

The Celtics have two of the top defenders in the league in guards Derrick White and Jrue Holiday. Both players were selected to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team this season, and both can match up with almost anyone on the floor defensively.

That’s going to be key against a Dallas team that relies on its star guards, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, for much of its scoring. Both Mavericks are also great playmakers off the pick-and-roll, but Boston is able to switch on those, with Holiday or White able to stay with whatever big man is setting the pick.

White is averaging 1.3 blocks in the postseason, while Holiday is recording 1.3 steals per contest.

Another key to the Celtics’ defense is the return of center Kristaps Porzingis after he’d been sidelined since Game 4 of the first round against the Heat. Porzingis brings length to the Boston front line and is versatile enough to guard anyone on the perimeter as well. He’s averaging 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals in the playoffs so far.

 

2. Clutch Play Powering Championship Drive

The Celtics haven’t cruised through every game of the postseason, especially against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals. But Boston has come up with wins thanks to late-game heroics from a number of players.

In Game 1 of the East finals, it was Jaylen Brown playing the hero, hitting a 3-pointer with 6.1 seconds remaining in regulation to send the contest to overtime.

Welcome to the NBA playoffs. You’ve just got to manage your emotions. Anything can happen,” Brown said after Game 1 of his tying 3-pointer. “It’s not over until the final buzzer sounds. It’s not over until it’s over. We found a way to win the game at the very end.”

Brown and Jayson Tatum are the stars of the Celtics, but there are clutch players throughout the lineup. Holiday was the hero of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, scoring a three-point play with 38.9 seconds left to punctuate a rally from an eight-point deficit with three minutes to go.

In Game 4, it was White hitting the big shot, a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 43 seconds to play that put Boston in front for good. Focusing on just the outstanding duo of Brown and Tatum isn’t possible for the Mavericks since Boston has a number of players who can come up big in the clutch.

 

3. Experience a Factor in NBA Finals

The Celtics definitely have the experience edge against the Mavericks in the NBA Finals. It was just two seasons ago that Boston looked like it was on its way to a title, advancing to the championship series against the Golden State Warriors.

Stephen Curry and Co. had other plans and took the title, but much of the current Boston lineup gained that experience of playing in the NBA Finals and all that goes with it. The Celtics have been determined to take that next step ever since, and now they have that chance.

Boston has also been in the Eastern Conference finals in six of the last eight seasons, so playoff pressure is nothing new to most of the team’s players.

 

4. Tatum, Brown to Win Duel of Superstar Duos

There is a lot of talk about Dallas’ duo of Irving and Doncic, but, despite the presence of other very talented players on the Celtics’ roster, Tatum and Brown stand out. Both are looking for their first NBA titles and both are coming through with great play throughout this season.

Doncic is the NBA betting favorite to be the leader for most points in the NBA Finals at -190, but Tatum is right behind him at +265. Tatum is also the favorite to lead the Finals in rebounds at -125 and is second to Doncic in the odds for most assists at +800 (Doncic is -600).

That shows the all-around game Tatum brings to the party, and he should be at his best in this series. He comes into the NBA Finals as the Celtics’ leader in scoring (26.0 points), rebounding (10.4) and assists (5.9) this postseason.

As good as Tatum has been, it was Brown that took the Eastern Conference finals MVP award. Besides his clutch 3-pointer in Game 1, Brown averaged 29.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals in the four-game sweep of the Pacers.

Brown can be very physical on both ends of the floor, and he’ll draw some fouls from the Mavericks’ defenders in this series. He has the fourth-best odds to be the top scorer in the NBA Finals, currently sitting at +1200.

The Celtics are favored overall as well, and they should live up to those expectations. When you’re making your NBA bets on the NBA Finals, go with the guys in green to come away with the title.

 

 

Questions of the Day

When was the last time the Boston Celtics won the NBA title?


The Boston Celtics’ last NBA title came in 2008, when they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

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