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NBA Finals Preview: Can Dallas defense stop Boston’s outside shooting?

Mavericks Celtics NBA Finals Luka Doncic Kyrie Irving
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Jun 04, 2024

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Jun 04, 2024

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a.patton@tegna.com

The Boston Celtics will need to slow down Luka Doncic to win the NBA Finals, but can Dallas slow down Boston’s three point shooting?

Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals will tip off at 8:30 PM ET on Thursday, June 6 between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks. Locked On Mavericks host Nick Angstadt and Locked On Celtics host John Karalis recorded back-to-back crossover episodes previewing the series.

First was a lengthy discussion on what Boston can do to slow down superstar Luka Doncic, who averaged 32.4 points in the series against Minnesota. Next, Angstadt and Karalis discussed Boston’s ability to space the floor and how it will play a role against Dallas’ interior post defenders.

“If the Celtics do what I think they should do, drive/kick/swing/drive/kick, how do the Mavs bigs handle that?” Karalis posed to Angstadt. “They have struggled to chase the ball,” Angstadt replied. “If [Boston] moves the ball quick enough, the Mavs won’t be able to chase it enough. It all depends on where the bigs are. I think this could be a very tough series for Daniel Gafford.”

Find Locked On Celtics and Locked On Mavericks daily on YouTube and wherever you get podcasts!

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Angstadt mentioned Gafford only played six minutes when these two teams met back in March, and expects rookie Dereck Lively to be a significant factor for Dallas in this series.

“Lively has really stepped up defending in space,” Angstadt continued. “They left him on an island against Anthony Edwards and he would be okay. I think this could be a very big series for Lively.”

Lively missed Game 4 against MInnesota with a neck injury but returned in Game 5 and totaled nine points and eight rebounds. The rookie out of Duke is a critical x-factor for Dallas and their hopes of becoming the lowest seeded team to win an NBA Finals of all-time.

For more on the series, check out both Locked On Celtics and Locked On Mavericks!

Find the Locked On NBA show for YOUR team!

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