Mavericks starter issues bold statement at Celtics before Finals

Dallas Mavericks, Derrick Jones Jr.
Dallas Mavericks, Derrick Jones Jr. / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

When the Dallas Mavericks entered the 2024 NBA Playoffs as the fifth seed in the Western Conference, they entered the Playoffs as big underdogs to win the West and Finals. It hasn't bothered them at all.

The Mavs knocked out the LA Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Minnesota Timberwolves to win the Western Conference without having home-court advantage in any of those series.

Prior to the NBA Finals starting tomorrow, Derrick Jones Jr. doesn't believe that this team is an underdog at all, and he has the utmost confidence in himself and those around him.

Derrick Jones Jr. issues bold statement at Celtics before Finals

"I don't really think that anybody can beat us in a seven game series," Jones Jr. said this past Sunday.

Some may find it shocking, but the Mavs didn't have to play in a Game 7 in their road to the Finals. The team has overcome three tough teams and Jones Jr. and the Mavs have gotten behind each other every step of the way.

Prior to the Western Conference Finals, P.J. Washington didn't feel the Mavs were an underdog against the Timberwolves after the Mavs eliminated the top-seed Thunder in six games.

The Mavs would feed off Washington's comment and eliminate the Timberwolves in five games to advance to the NBA Finals.

For Jones Jr., he has been the surprising X-factor for the Mavs in the Playoffs. On both ends of the court, Jones Jr. has played well and has reason to be confident. Jones Jr. played a big role in Dallas' 30-point win in Game 5 over the LA Clippers holding Paul George to 4-of-13 from the field and recording three blocked shots. George finished averaging under 20 points per game in the series with Jones Jr. guarding him for some of the series.

Jones Jr. is averaging the fourth most points on the team with 9.8. After being undrafted, confidence is important for Jones Jr. at all times.

Despite losing both regular season games against the Celtics this season. there's reason to believe the Mavs can win the Finals over the Celtics in the locker room. Being underdogs and not having home court doesn't bother the Mavs one bit, and they are embracing that.

No one in that locker room feels like they're underdogs, and the Mavs don't care what any of the doubters say.

The Mavs will look to claim their second NBA championship in franchise history over the Celtics.