5 Ways the Mavericks can turn the tide of NBA Finals against Celtics

Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks fell into a 2-0 hole in the 2024 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics on Sunday night with a 105-98 loss, and the Mavs must find a way to win Game 3 to stand a chance at winning this series.

The series is obviously first to four wins, but the writing would be on the walls if they lose Game 3 as no team has ever come back from being down 3-0. Dallas put together a much better performance in Game 2 than they did in an ugly Game 1, and now it's time to see how they respond.

The last time the Mavs lost three games in a row was early March, and they have to find a way to make this series interesting.

5 Ways the Mavericks can turn the tide of NBA Finals against Celtics

The rowdy Celtics crowd obviously got to multiple players in these first two games, and playing at home for two straight games could be the change that everyone needs to get back on track mentally.

This series is not over by any means, but there are a handful of things that must happen if the Mavs want to defeat the Celtics in this series.

Here are five ways the Dallas Mavericks can turn the tide against the Boston Celtics in the 2024 NBA Finals.

5. Contain Al Horford and Kristaps Pozingis

One of the most unique parts about the Boston Celtics offense is their ability to play five-out with either Al Horford or Krisaps Porzingis at the five. Both players are good shooters off the catch, and they can get hot at any time.

The Mavs have struggled at times this season with slowing down shooting big men, and Dallas has to contain Porzingis and Horford. They did a better job of that in Game 2 as they only combined for 17 points, and they have to limit them even more going forward.

One key to stopping Porzingis seems to be not switching and playing with physicality, and they have to keep guarding him physically in Games 3 and 4. Everyone knows that Porzingis typically shies away from contact, and the Mavs defenders have to throw the first punch in that matchup.

Avoiding smalls to switch onto Porzingis is important as well, because any time Dallas switches, Porzingis typically shoots right over the top of them.

Horford clearly is nowhere near as dynamic as Porzingis, but he can get hot as well. Finding a way to have Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively II outplay Porzingis and Horford would be huge for Dallas, and it could shift the momentum in the Mavs' favor.