NBA analyst reveals grim reason why Mavericks could be doomed in Finals

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, P.J. Washington
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, P.J. Washington / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks are in the Finals for the first time since 2011 when Dirk Nowitzki led the franchise to its first-ever championship. After a Western Conference Finals trip in 2022 and missing out on the 2023 Play-In Tournament, which may been planned all along by coach Jason Kidd and the front office, the team is finally back on the championship stage.

However, the Boston Celtics are standing between the Mavs and the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Luka Doncic and company certainly have a tall task ahead, considering the Eastern Conference Champions finished the regular season with 14 more wins.

If Dallas takes home the crown, it would be the team with the lowest record in the regular season to become the champion in the ensuing playoffs since the Houston Rockets went 47-35 (.573) in the 1994-95 campaign before successfully defending their title.

Kenny Smith reveals grim reason why Mavericks could be doomed in Finals

Part of that Rockets squad was Kenny Smith, who currently works as a TNT analyst. He also offered a bleak prediction for the Mavs before Game 1 of the Finals, saying that Boston should be favored to come out on top of the series because it has "everything you need this year to win a championship."

According to the "Inside the NBA" host, the Celtics have a better roster than Dallas because they have five stars or fringe stars in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, and Kristaps Porzingis. Smith also argued that a squad whose "fifth-best" player, which he stated can sometimes be Porzingis, is as good as the "first-best" guy on most bad teams in the league should go all the way.

That doesn't sound too promising for the Mavs.

The good news for Dallas is that it has arguably the best player in the series: Doncic. Even though Tatum has helped lead the Celtics to three straight conference finals, his resume still pales in comparison to that of the Slovenian superstar, who has five All-NBA First-Team selections to his name.

Moreover, "Luka Magic" also has plenty of experience in playing in high-pressure contests, having clinched the 2018 EuroLeague Championship with Real Madrid — when he was just 19 years old.

It's also worth noting that the Mavs have Kyrie Irving, who is appearing in his fourth-ever NBA Finals, and feature a deeper bench that can destroy the Celtics.

Boston might seemingly be more top-heavy. However, compared to their Celtics counterparts, Dallas' reserves have averaged more points (23.4 to 19.6), rebounds (13.3 to 11.0), assists (4.8 to 3.9), steals (1.9 to 1.1), and blocks (1.6 to 1.1) in the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

Dallas may have lost Game 1, but there's no reason to fret. They also gave up their series openers versus the LA Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder, but everyone knows how those rounds turned out. Also, the key to beating Boston has become clear, and it involves P.J. Washington stepping up as an X-factor and morphing into the Mavericks' third star in the making.

Stay plugged in to read more about the Dallas Mavericks and their title pursuit.