NBA Finals: Key questions from Celtics-Mavs Game 2

NBA Finals: Key questions from Celtics-Mavs Game 2

The Celtics are one victory away from becoming champions. But to turn the tide, the Mavs must fix the mistakes they made in Games 1 and 2.


The Boston Celtics took a 2-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks after a back-and-forth thriller in Boston, and now history is on their side. Teams that go 2-0 in the Finals are 31-5 all-time, and the Celtics have a 43-1 record when going 2-0 with a best-of-seven lead (their only loss came in the 2018 Eastern Conference).

The Mavericks will now head to the American Airlines Center for Games 3 and 4, where they are 5-3 during these playoffs.

After a slow start in the series opener, the Mavericks came out strong in Game 2, taking a 13-6 lead in the first quarter, their largest lead of the night before Boston took a lead in the second.

Luka Doncic He finished the season with 32 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds, recording his seventh triple-double of the postseason. He is now tied for second most in NBA playoff history. But his eight turnovers hampered Dallas' efforts to tie the series, as the Mavericks will look to bounce back on Wednesday in Game 3 (8:30 PM ET, ESPN Deportes).

Can Dallas bounce back from its opening two losses? What are some of the biggest tweaks in Game 2? Our NBA experts answer key questions arising from Game 2.

What was the biggest adjustment the team made from Game 1 to Game 2?

Dave McMenamin: Boston kept the ball in hands Jayson Tatum And he kept passing doggedly, even if his shot wasn't falling: He was 6-for-22 after a 6-for-16 line in the first game. It's just that his teammates took more shots. After five assists on Thursday, Tatum had 12 on Sunday, his highest of the postseason. He destroyed the Mavs' ball pressure by finding cutters (Puppy vacation It was his favorite target, going 10 of 13 with just three three-point attempts) going 3 and keeping Dallas from filling the paint. (The Celtics made just 10 3-pointers after hitting 16 in Game 1, but that didn't hurt them because of their overall balance.)

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Brian Windhorst: The biggest adjustment was the Celtics trade Kristaps Porzingis And the last holiday outside the season. There wasn't much difference between the games. Boston hasn't really performed well since the first quarter of Game 1 and they played poorly again on Sunday, but they are an amazing, well-rounded team. These two big additions have greatly expanded the Celtics' margin for error. Porzingis' health progress in the series is clearly a major factor.

Mark Spears: Doncic was more aggressive from the start and finished with 23 points in the first half. It may have been the knee that held him back in the first game, but the pregame announcement that he was questionable suggests he's not feeling well. However, Doncic has made many difficult shots with one leg, but it is clear that Doncic cannot do it alone and needs help. Kyrie Irving And others to keep up with the Celtics offensively. Should we dust off? Tim Hardaway Jr.?


Which player's performance has been the most surprising (or disappointing) so far?

McMenamin: Derek Lively II He had such an impact on the Mavs' run to the Finals that the value of his presence became even more apparent when he missed Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals with a neck strain and the Minnesota Timberwolves recorded their only win in the Finals. His impact has been neutralized so far in this series (he scored just four points in the first two games) and there were moments when he looked like the rookie he was on Sunday, like when he made a violent save from going out of bounds only to spark a fast break for the Celtics and get caught in the zone. Haram while defending a lot of property.

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Windhorst: Irving. He's lost his great rhythm, in part because the Celtics' lineup of strong, tall guards at the rim has closed down his shooting windows. But he also bowed down a little in front of the Celtics crowd. He criticized them after Game 1, saying they weren't as loud as he expected, and was caught going back and forth with fans several times in Game 2. He seems a little crazy.

Spears: Holiday's offensive explosion in Game 2 was a huge surprise. I didn't envision him being the Celtics' leading scorer in any Finals game. It's just a reminder that the defensive guru is an elite player on both ends and that the Celtics have countless offensive weapons. A scary thought for the Mavs defense.


Is this series headed for a hit if…?

He plays

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What are the keys to the Celtics' second win over the Mavs?

Ernesto Jerez and Fabricio Oberto analyze the virtues demonstrated by the Boston pentagon in defeating the Mavericks once again in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

McMenamin: The Mavs' shooting is no longer to average at home. Dallas made just 13 of 53 3-pointers (24.5%) in Games 1 and 2 in Boston, after averaging 12.3 3-pointers per game in the postseason before Sunday. The Mavericks defense does a great job of keeping the Celtics' historically efficient offense in check. But if their offense doesn't start to hold up, this will be a quick series.

Windhorst: The Mavericks have a lot of trouble creating good shots and that's what's killing their offense. The Celtics are doing a great job of dealing Irving and Doncic directly, which is a huge luxury that sucks the life out of Dallas' offense. The Mavs got some extra looks at the rim in the third quarter, when Daniel Gafford They start out in the pick-and-roll, but have to identify a few more sets that will put pressure on Boston.

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Spears: to survey? Dallas has a lot of talent and will return home for two games. The series doesn't start until the team loses at home, and Boston often loses focus on one game in each series. I'm considering that possibility, but there has to be a fight on Dallas' side… right?

Oliver Walton

"Pro alcohol addict. Bacon scholar. Award-winning beer fan. Gamer. Social media expert. Zombie guru."

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