NBA Finals: Celtics vs Mavs

Who wins?

  • Celtics in 4

    Votes: 22 5.0%
  • Celtics in 5

    Votes: 120 27.3%
  • Celtics in 6

    Votes: 222 50.6%
  • Celtics in 7

    Votes: 52 11.8%
  • Mavs in 4-5

    Votes: 3 0.7%
  • Mavs in 6-7

    Votes: 20 4.6%

  • Total voters
    439
  • Poll closed .

Auger34

used to be tbb
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Apr 23, 2010
11,307
What a team. That was so fucking fun to watch. Let’s do it again next year shall we?
 

SeoulSoxFan

I Want to Hit the World with Rocket Punch
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Jun 27, 2006
22,229
A Scud Away from Hell
From Lowe:

In the end, these Celtics -- 64 wins, all-time regular-season point differential, strong 16-3 playoffs -- can go toe-to-toe with anyone in this second tier of great modern champions. Some might prefer the 1989 Pistons or 2015 Warriors -- among the closest doppelgangers -- but Boston boosters can marshal some pretty strong statistical evidence for their own case. The mid-2010s Heat and Spurs and 1983 Sixers have compelling arguments too. It's blurry in this glorious range.
https://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/40352380/here-code-boston-celtics-cracked-win-nba-finals-raise-banner-no-18
 

timelysarcasm

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Jul 23, 2010
1,757
Los Angeles by way of Roxbury
They freaking did it! And so very, very satisfying to see that this team was different from past iterations, believe in it, and see them prove it. We're lucky fans to get to root for these guys.

Tingus Ringus, Two Way Jays, DWhite, Jrue and Ageless Al. What a team.

Congrats everyone! Absolute monster of a team
Thank you, it was fun talking basketball with you this season - good fans of other teams make this place truly great.
 

Jimbodandy

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Jan 31, 2006
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That was some fun shit. Gotta stop watching postgame at 2AM, but there will be more tomorrow.

Glad that Dallas used up whatever they had left in game four. This one never felt in doubt. Reminded me of a less extreme version of the clincher in 2008, which is good because some of us are getting too old for stress. Hats off to the officials in the playoffs for being generally invisible and letting the players play, especially in this series. Was a lot of fun watching players just go at it.

Great series. Victory Soup.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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Nov 13, 2013
551
So...one of my favourite things about championships are the DVD/Blu-rays &/or books.

Does anyone know of any home media? It seems the NBA stopped making the official ones in 2016 (Cleveland's). I found some unofficial DVDs online, but their reviews are very poor.
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
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Jul 15, 2005
33,442
That was some fun shit. Gotta stop watching postgame at 2AM, but there will be more tomorrow.

Glad that Dallas used up whatever they had left in game four. This one never felt in doubt. Reminded me of a less extreme version of the clincher in 2008, which is good because some of us are getting too old for stress. Hats off to the officials in the playoffs for being generally invisible and letting the players play, especially in this series. Was a lot of fun watching players just go at it.

Great series. Victory Soup.
can’t stop, the great Bill Simmons podcast has dropped
 

Five Cent Head

64th note
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Jul 17, 2007
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I will point out that the Celtics played 5-out most of the playoffs:
  • Miami: 5 games and out
  • Cleveland: 5 games and out
  • Dallas: 5 games and out
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
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Sep 9, 2008
43,965
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I was really surprised at how much fatigue played a factor in the NBA playoffs. Not just this game, but all playoffs. You see tired legs in game 7s, but it felt different this year. Even with the long break and two rest days between most games, the teams looked exhausted. And it was only game 5. Maybe that was part of the reason. There was a point in the third quarter late where it became clear that the Mavs did not have enough scoring left in them to come back even if the Celtics stopped scoring. Obviously, this had a ton to do with the Celtics’ defense. They just wore teams down, over four quarters and over series. But even so, the second half was 42-39 Mavs. That is kind of crazy. Both teams were kind of done. Hard to imagine how the teams could have played two more games.

I think it emphasizes how much the ability to close out early series quickly matters. Also, one thing that seems different in the last few years is how little blowouts matter. You can go back many years to see teams overcoming blowouts in the finals but it has been a noticeable thing in all rounds. I started paying a little more attention after one of the Suns series a few years back. Teams are content to just turn it off and take the blowout loss. There is no sense of “let’s finish strong for next game.” I think teams have just decided it’s ok to have some moments where you aren’t redlined in intensity and they come back stronger. It’s just not unusual to see back to back opposite blowouts.
 

Strike4

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Jul 19, 2005
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I was really surprised at how much fatigue played a factor in the NBA playoffs. Not just this game, but all playoffs. You see tired legs in game 7s, but it felt different this year. Even with the long break and two rest days between most games, the teams looked exhausted. And it was only game 5. Maybe that was part of the reason. There was a point in the third quarter late where it became clear that the Mavs did not have enough scoring left in them to come back even if the Celtics stopped scoring. Obviously, this had a ton to do with the Celtics’ defense. They just wore teams down, over four quarters and over series. But even so, the second half was 42-39 Mavs. That is kind of crazy. Both teams were kind of done. Hard to imagine how the teams could have played two more games.

I think it emphasizes how much the ability to close out early series quickly matters. Also, one thing that seems different in the last few years is how little blowouts matter. You can go back many years to see teams overcoming blowouts in the finals but it has been a noticeable thing in all rounds. I started paying a little more attention after one of the Suns series a few years back. Teams are content to just turn it off and take the blowout loss. There is no sense of “let’s finish strong for next game.” I think teams have just decided it’s ok to have some moments where you aren’t redlined in intensity and they come back stronger. It’s just not unusual to see back to back opposite blowouts.
These are great points and it sort of heralds this new style of play where you have lots of things you didn't see even a few years ago, like this series where a team wins it 4-1 but the point differential was only 12, where being the star player isn't necessarily about scoring the most, where games are managed with the understanding that there will be point swings at almost-regular intervals, where some of the received wisdom is being questioned ("momentum", teams win at home, etc.). More of a bend-don't-break situation. It's kind of cool, like the early Belichick era.
 

BigSoxFan

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May 31, 2007
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I was really surprised at how much fatigue played a factor in the NBA playoffs. Not just this game, but all playoffs. You see tired legs in game 7s, but it felt different this year. Even with the long break and two rest days between most games, the teams looked exhausted. And it was only game 5. Maybe that was part of the reason. There was a point in the third quarter late where it became clear that the Mavs did not have enough scoring left in them to come back even if the Celtics stopped scoring. Obviously, this had a ton to do with the Celtics’ defense. They just wore teams down, over four quarters and over series. But even so, the second half was 42-39 Mavs. That is kind of crazy. Both teams were kind of done. Hard to imagine how the teams could have played two more games.

I think it emphasizes how much the ability to close out early series quickly matters. Also, one thing that seems different in the last few years is how little blowouts matter. You can go back many years to see teams overcoming blowouts in the finals but it has been a noticeable thing in all rounds. I started paying a little more attention after one of the Suns series a few years back. Teams are content to just turn it off and take the blowout loss. There is no sense of “let’s finish strong for next game.” I think teams have just decided it’s ok to have some moments where you aren’t redlined in intensity and they come back stronger. It’s just not unusual to see back to back opposite blowouts.
Stevens made this very point with Scal. That in 2022 they had to go 6-7 games every series and this year it was 4-5. And he felt that it made a major impact. After watching them play, I would tend to agree. If it had gone to 6-7 games, it would have been an absolute grind for both teams.
 

bosockboy

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Jul 15, 2005
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Yeah the Celtics grinded out this title. Never hit full tilt and shot under regular season percentages (particularly Tatum), but the defense was the difference.
 

gammoseditor

also had a stroke
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Jul 17, 2005
4,364
Somerville, MA
I think it speaks to how hard everyone is playing on defense. Historically some stars have been able to coast on defense and are fresher in the second half because of it. All five players on the Celtics kill themselves on defense. On the other side, Luka wants to coast but because of our offensive depth we attack him and don’t let him. All playoffs we hunted the other teams top offensive players and made them work on the defensive end. It paid off in the second half and is also a reason Mitchell and Haliburton didn’t finish their series healthy.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
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May 18, 2007
8,524
Manchester, N.H.
Some Luka defensive numbers from this video (I presume they are accurate): View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNpOGeAlAaI

  • Blow-by percentage of 67.7%, worst ever in a playoff series (His blow-by % against LAC and OKC were 2nd and 3rd worst too)
  • most fouls committed in clutch
  • most fouls committed by a Maverick in playoffs
  • worst defensive rating in clutch in playoffs
It was pretty incredible how quickly some folks (not here) moved to "Luka had a good series and his team left him down" - I know people like the Slash Lines and TS% and Luka's an offensive monster, but those defensive figures are absolutely atrocious and it was clear that much of the Celtics gameplan worked because Luka was flat out bad in that realm - and they attacked it relentlessly.

It feels like in baseball it took forever to come to terms with the true negative value of a bad defender, and maybe NBA Analytics and discussion isn't quite there yet.
 

Jimbodandy

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Jan 31, 2006
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Cs in 5. Shout-out to my fellow correct predictors. So much better to celebrate at home anyway.
Word. I became grateful during this game that we weren't going to have to keep dragging this on. I had the Cs in 6, because they've been so great on the road, but 5 is fantastic. I don't expect any of the "Mavs" voters in this thread to throw themselves on their swords, but they really should.

I was really surprised at how much fatigue played a factor in the NBA playoffs. Not just this game, but all playoffs. You see tired legs in game 7s, but it felt different this year. Even with the long break and two rest days between most games, the teams looked exhausted. And it was only game 5. Maybe that was part of the reason. There was a point in the third quarter late where it became clear that the Mavs did not have enough scoring left in them to come back even if the Celtics stopped scoring. Obviously, this had a ton to do with the Celtics’ defense. They just wore teams down, over four quarters and over series. But even so, the second half was 42-39 Mavs. That is kind of crazy. Both teams were kind of done. Hard to imagine how the teams could have played two more games.

I think it emphasizes how much the ability to close out early series quickly matters. Also, one thing that seems different in the last few years is how little blowouts matter. You can go back many years to see teams overcoming blowouts in the finals but it has been a noticeable thing in all rounds. I started paying a little more attention after one of the Suns series a few years back. Teams are content to just turn it off and take the blowout loss. There is no sense of “let’s finish strong for next game.” I think teams have just decided it’s ok to have some moments where you aren’t redlined in intensity and they come back stronger. It’s just not unusual to see back to back opposite blowouts.
Yep. Especially the bolded. I'll take it a step further. I was thinking last night about how much it probably bothered KP that he wasn't able to contribute in the last couple of series as much as he would have wanted. Then I stopped myself and realized that 100yo Al Horford was fresh AF in these playoffs in no small part thanks to KP for playing as much as he did this season and allowing Al to pace himself, skip B2B, not have to play 35-40 on the regular, etc. Same goes to a lesser extent to everyone in that locker room. Tatum still played a ton of minutes, but it was a lot less than the last two years in the regular season and 200 fewer playoff minutes than when we went to the finals in 2022. So running away with the league's best record and closing out playoff series quickly saved a ton of wear and tear on the key players, who accordingly had plenty of gas in the tank for this run. It's an underrated factor. Joe deserves a ton of credit for the discipline of holding course in the 82 but also keeping the gas pedal down in the tournament. They had three "mail in" games in the playoffs, maybe four (I think that they kinda went through the motions in one of the Indy games but closed it out anyway). After a grueling season, maintaining that kind of focus is no joke, and it sure as shit paid off in the end.
 

Jimbodandy

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It was pretty incredible how quickly some folks (not here) moved to "Luka had a good series and his team left him down" - I know people like the Slash Lines and TS% and Luka's an offensive monster, but those defensive figures are absolutely atrocious and it was clear that much of the Celtics gameplan worked because Luka was flat out bad in that realm - and they attacked it relentlessly.

It feels like in baseball it took forever to come to terms with the true negative value of a bad defender, and maybe NBA Analytics and discussion isn't quite there yet.
I'm not sure that they'll ever get there, but this is true. When guys give back almost as many as they score, it's a problem. For some reason, folks get this with Trae. They just don't with Luka.
 

Van Everyman

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Apr 30, 2009
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A few things worth noting on the Mavericks and this matchup:

1) I said in the game thread that, to his credit, Luka did respond a little to the criticism he faced after game three. I don’t mean that he played good or even respectable defense. He obviously didn’t, but he chirped at the refs a lot less, wasn’t laying down on the floor after every missed shot and did seem to work a little better at getting back.

2) While it wasn’t quite that the Mavs “figured out what they’re doing” as Lively said after game four, the Mavs defense was better in both games four and five. They as a team were disrupting lanes and hustling out to close out perimeter shooters much better than in games one through three. Had they played defense like that all series, I’m not sure it ends in five.
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
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It's kind of amazing on how every year, the team that wins the title has great ball movement and lower-than-expected usage of its top players, yet people still gravitate towards picking players like Doncic who play very helio-centric basketball.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I'm not sure that they'll ever get there, but this is true. When guys give back almost as many as they score, it's a problem. For some reason, folks get this with Trae. They just don't with Luka.
Luka is better than Trae, in that there are things he can do on defense - he's essentially a small 4 or a big 3 on defense, and if he can play that way he's serviceable as he generates steals and can rebound ok. He's not good, and he doesn't try hard, and I'm not defending him so much as noting there's some elements there to coach and work with

There is nothing Trae can do even adequately on defense no matter the scheme or matchup. He's uniformly awful at it, and it's totally unschemable, imo.

So I agree with your larger point that Luka's defense is underplayed (I tihnk that will change some, as it was exposed in finals) but I do think there's reasons Trae is an even bigger issue.
 

Jimbodandy

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Luka is better than Trae, in that there are things he can do on defense - he's essentially a small 4 or a big 3 on defense, and if he can play that way he's serviceable as he generates steals and can rebound ok. He's not good, and he doesn't try hard, and I'm not defending him so much as noting there's some elements there to coach and work with

There is nothing Trae can do even adequately on defense no matter the scheme or matchup. He's uniformly awful at it, and it's totally unschemable, imo.

So I agree with your larger point that Luka's defense is underplayed (I tihnk that will change some, as it was exposed in finals) but I do think there's reasons Trae is an even bigger issue.
Oh I agree that Trae is functionally limited by his height and size. And the effort is poor on his part too. He's absolutely worse than Luka. Point is that Luka is also terrible, like truly bad. He could be adequate, but he isn't. And he has been this way since he entered the league, and nobody ever talks about it.
 

bosockboy

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Oh I agree that Trae is functionally limited by his height and size. And the effort is poor on his part too. He's absolutely worse than Luka. Point is that Luka is also terrible, like truly bad. He could be adequate, but he isn't. And he has been this way since he entered the league, and nobody ever talks about it.
He also needs to lose 25 lbs.
 

Jimbodandy

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He also needs to lose 25 lbs.
At least do something with that body. They called him 6'8" 235 on the broadcast (last night I think). Even if true, it's a doughy 235. Nothing wrong with being 235 at 6'8". Hell Lebron was the best player on earth at like 260 at that height. But it's the overall body composition. If he leans out and adds some muscle and works on lateral movement and some explosiveness, he could be great at both ends. Effort is only part of it, for sure.