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Celtics Have The History, Mavs One Shining Moment

The Boston Celtics have hung 17 championship banners and the Dallas Mavericks won their lone NBA title 13 years ago as the two franchises prepare to meet in the finals for the first time, starting Thursday night.

The Celtics are tied for the most titles with the Lakers franchise, which began in Minneapolis and later moved to Los Angeles. But it has been 16 years since Boston celebrated a championship, last coming up short in 2022 against the Golden State Warriors.

Celtics Have The History, Mavs One Shining Moment
Luka Doncic #77 | David Berding/Getty Images/AFP

The Celtics will be the favorite in the NBA odds to make it No. 18, but Dallas rode a superstar name Dirk Nowitzki to the title in 2011 and have one of the league’s best in Luka Doncic to lead the way this time.

While Boston has been around since 1946-47 and the Mavericks are in their 43rd year of existence, there is plenty of history for both franchises.


Russell, Bird, Walton And Garnett

It took a decade for the Celtics to become NBA experts’ picks to win championships almost every year when a versatile big man joined the team in 1956.

Bill Russell didn’t put up huge numbers offensively, but he averaged 22.5 rebounds per game in his career and did a little of everything to be part of a record 17 finals. Boston won eight straight championships between 1959-1966 and 11 during a 13-year stretch that started in ‘57.

The Celtics won titles in 1974 and 1976 with a balanced unit and reached five finals from 1981-1987, led by the star-studded trio of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish – winning three times. The late Bill Walton helped Boston win in 1986.

It took more than two decades for the Celtics to win their last title in 2008, led by Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Danny Ainge. Some of that group lost in 2010 to the Lakers, but it has been frustrating ever since.

Boston won two of the first three against Golden State two years ago before losing three in a row – two at home.


Cuban To Kidd To Nowitzki To Doncic

The Mavericks were born in 1980 as the third Texas franchise, and made the conference finals just once until 2000.

It was then that Mark Cuban bought a majority stake in the team and Dallas made the playoffs 12 straight seasons with players such as Antawn Jamison, Jason Terry, Avery Johnson, Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki. Cuban sold majority stake earlier this season and now owns 27 percent.

The Mavericks lost to the Miami Heat in the 2006 finals, but got a second chance in 2011. Down two games to one against LeBron James and the Heat, Dallas won three straight to take the franchise’s only title as Terry poured in 27 points in Game 6 at Miami.

The Mavericks were quiet until Doncic arrived in 2018-19. The 6-7 Slovenian has averaged 28.7 points per game since and led Dallas to the Western Conference finals two of the last three seasons. Doncic has the lowest Las Vegas odds to lead the 2024 finals in scoring.


Are The Celtics Due Or Mavericks Destined?

The Mavericks won’t have home-court advantage for the fourth straight series in the playoffs and have thrived as an underdog in the NBA betting.

Dallas did not even make the postseason in 2023, going just 38-44 before rebounding to win a division title for the fifth time in its history at 50-32 this season. The Mavericks look like the team of destiny, playing their best at the right time with seven wins in nine road games.

Boston has made the playoffs 10 straight years and won at least 50 games five times in that stretch. The Celtics compiled their most wins (64) since their 2008 championship season (66) and are 43-6 at TD Garden.

Doncic can make history by winning his first title. Boston can put a record 18th banner in the rafters. No matter what happens, this series will likely be memorable.



Questions of the Day

How many players who wore a Celtics uniform are in the Hall of Fame?

Thirty-seven. Ed Macauley was first in 1960 and Chauncey Billups will become the 38th in August.

Celtics Have The History, Mavs One Shining Moment
Luka Doncic #77 | David Berding/Getty Images/AFP

How many 3-pointers does Doncic have in his playoff career?

155. Doncic is 12 from tying Terry for the franchise lead in the playoffs in only four postseason runs.

Celtics Have The History, Mavs One Shining Moment
Luka Doncic #77 | David Berding/Getty Images/AFP

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