Mavs Vs. Celtics Game 2 Recap

Mavs Vs. Celtics Game 2 Recap

The first two games of the 2024 NBA Finals have been a showcase of the Boston Celtics’ dominance and the challenges faced by the Dallas Mavericks, particularly in terms of player performance and injuries.

Luka Doncic, the Mavericks’ star player, is facing criticism for his defensive efforts. Many clips have found their way to social media and the reviews are damning. Luka is already considered a below-average athlete and defender before taking into account the litany of injuries he's suffering from and the heavy offensive workload that is undoubtedly having an affect on his overall play.  In Game 1, he was held to just one assist as the Mavericks’ offense as a whole struggled mightily. The Celtics’ disciplined defense, which focused on containing Doncic and making someone else beat them, allowed them to take control of the game. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were instrumental in this effort, with Tatum even blocking one of Doncic’s three-point attempts. 

The Celtics have been tactically sound both games against the Mavericks. They’ve managed to turn key moments into significant leads, such as in Game 1 when the Celtics doubled the Mavericks total score at one point in the first half leading 62 to 29. This level of dominant performance has allowed them to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Injuries have played a role in both teams’ performances. The Celtics’ Kristaps Porzingis suffered a rare leg injury that has him questionable for Game 3. In the daily injury release, the Celtics described Porzingis’ injury to be a torn medial retinaculum allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon in his left leg. In simplest terms, this injury essentially makes the ankle as a whole unstable leading to the potential for more damage to Porzingis' battered left leg. 

On the other hand, Luka Doncic has been dealing with chest, knee and ankle injuries that have clearly hampered his level of play. These i juries are an accumulation over the long season and have nagged Doncic since the first round of the playoffs. Also of note, much has been made of the Mavericks overall decline in performance including the decline of star rookie Dereck Lively. A great point was made by ESPN’s Stephen A Smith when discussing Lively’s decline in production. Lively’s mother tragically passed away during this postseason and as she was his last remaining immediate family member, the weight is undoubtedly being felt by Lively especially with the week long break before the Finals series and the two day breaks in between games. Some things are bigger than basketball, especially a situation like this as we hope for peace and comfort for Lively in this unfortunate time.

Overall, the Celtics’ strategic play and depth have given them an edge in the series. However, the Mavericks are not out of the picture yet, and with players like Doncic pushing through injuries, they could still make a comeback with the next two games at home in front of their rowdy Dallas crowd.