1 Stat that will have Mavericks fans shaking in their boots amid Finals

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks are on the brink of facing a historically insurmountable 3-0 deficit in their Finals matchup against the Boston Celtics. But playing Game 3 at home could give the squad the needed boost, particularly on offense.

Through the first two meetings, the Mavs have averaged just 93.5 points per game, failing to reach the 100-point mark in either contest. In contrast, the team scored at least 100 in each of its face-offs with the defensive juggernaut Minnesota Timberwolves in the previous round.

While Luka Doncic has been stellar against the Celtics in this series — except at the free-throw line and taking care of the ball — he hasn't received the needed help from his teammates. The role players have yet to really step up and knock down their shots, and the Mavs currently have a Kyrie Irving problem with him struggling through the first two games.

Celtics winning while shooting poorly should make Mavericks fans scared

There is much optimism that Dallas will fare better in at least the next two matches playing in front of the home crowd. However, sports scribe Bill Simmons, also a longtime Celtics fan, offered a grim outlook for the Mavs organization and its fans.

In a recent episode of his podcast (starting at 30:26), Simmons guessed that Dallas would bounce back in Game 3 by shooting lights out from the field. But he also expressed that if he were a Mavs fan, he would be worried that Boston has not really shot the ball that well in the Finals, yet the squad is up 2-0.

To The Ringer founder's point, the Celtics have indeed appeared to struggle, averaging 106.0 points per contest on 46.4 percent shooting so far in the championship stage. Boston is unbelievably frightening when they are knocking down their shots, and them shooting poorly but still winning should have Mavs fans shaking in their boots.

In the regular season, their 120.6 points per game ranked second in the league. Boston was also in the top eight in efficiency, converting 48.7 percent of its field-goal attempts. At the moment, their average scoring and field-goal percentage against Dallas have been lower than what they registered against the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Indiana Pacers in the previous rounds.

Simmons also noted that Boston has been a juggernaut on the road in the 2024 playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion has yet to lose an away game (6-0) in this postseason.

It seems the Mavs have a steep hill to climb to become just the sixth team in NBA Finals history to recover from a 2-0 deficit. They might be a Jayson Tatum breakout game away from giving up a third loss. The fact that Doncic is also dealing with a plethora of injuries, the latest of which has been so severe that he had to get a pain-killing injection, may have only made it difficult for the Mavs faithful to keep their hopes up.

Still, there are various ways Dallas can turn the tide to rally and win the title. It all starts with Doncic, but his supporting cast also has to step up on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.

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