6 Biggest X-factors for Dallas Mavericks heading into Finals

Dallas Mavericks, P.J. Washington
Dallas Mavericks, P.J. Washington / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 6

June basketball is the part of the year that every NBA fan lives for, and Dallas Mavericks fans are lucky enough to have their team on the biggest stage as they'll battle the Boston Celtics in the 2024 NBA Finals beginning on Thursday.

Dallas is fresh off a Game 5 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves late last week, and now they'll have the chance to prove all the doubters wrong once and for all.

This Mavs team has been special for months, and they got hot at the perfect time, helping lead them all the way to the NBA Finals.

6 Biggest X-factors for Dallas Mavericks heading into Finals

This series has plenty of drama-filled storylines heading into it, including the Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis "beef," Kyrie Irving's return to Boston, and Porzingis' return to Dallas.

This is going to be an action-packed series, and it has the potential to be a seven-game series that goes down to the wire. Dallas does have the stronger bench, and they'll need all their role players to step up.

Here are the Dallas Mavericks' five biggest X-factors heading into the 2024 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.

6. Jaden Hardy

Dallas Mavericks second-year guard Jaden Hardy had an up-and-down season this year, but his play during the playoffs has been exceptional. He exploded during the Western Conference Finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves and passed both Dante Exum and Tim Hardaway Jr. in the rotation.

Hardy's play off the bench has been exceptional, and it has helped make up for the struggles of Exum and Hardaway Jr. Both Exum and Hardaway Jr. have nearly been unplayable, and Hardy is proving that he can be a part of Dallas' young core for years to come.

His ability to score in bunches, knock down threes off the catch, attack the rim, and be a secondary playmaker has been exceptional, and his growth as a playmaker has forced Jason Kidd's hand into playing him.

He is no longer just a guard who is always looking to score. Hardy is always a threat to throw a precise lob to Dallas' bigs, and they'll need him to play solid minutes against the Boston Celtics bench.

The Celtics have an energizing guard off the bench of their own in Payton Pritchard, and Hardy making the most of his minutes will be crucial.