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Mavericks: Mavericks vs. Celtics NBA Finals Game 4- Three takeaways, analysi...

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Published Time: 15.06.2024 - 07:04:37 Modified Time: 15.06.2024 - 07:04:37

“We waited until Game 4 to ultimately play our best game,” Kyrie Irving said. “Took long enough for all of us to get to the party together and to play for each other the way we did tonight. Mavericks, mavs vs celtics game 4, celtics vs mavs game 4


Was Dallas’ defense better? Yes. Was this the best Luka Doncic game of the NBA Finals? By far. That's the Luka we've been waiting for.

However, any conversation what Dallas did right starts with the desperate energy they played with from the opening tip.

“It's real simple. We don't have to complicate this. This isn't surgery. Our group was ready to go. They were ready to celebrate. Understand, we made a stand. We were desperate,” Jason Kidd said. “We got to continue to keep playing that way, understand they're trying to find a way to close the door. The hardest thing in this league is to close the door when you have a group that has nothing to lose. Tonight you saw that.”

Dallas played faster, freer, and with the motivation of a team that did not want its season to end. Everything else flowed out of that.

“We waited until Game 4 to ultimately play our best game,” Kyrie Irving said. “Took long enough for all of us to get to the party together and to play for each other the way we did tonight.

“But it's definitely a possibility that we can replicate it. We understand we're going against the same great Boston team that is going to make it tough. We're going into their home den. We have another opportunity to extend the season. That's all we can ask for.”

This started with the fourth quarter comeback in Game 3 — the Mavericks have figured out what they want to do. They kept their bigs closer to the rim, were physical at the point of attack, has sharp rotations, got stops then turned that into transition the other way. Friday night in Game 4 was the best the Mavericks have looked on defense this series. By far.

“They did a great job flying around, making us indecisive on whether to shoot it or drive and their multiple efforts. And I thought their five men did a great job protecting the paint,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said. “Whenever we went in for a layup, they had multiple guys contesting. I thought they did a great job flying around on the defensive end.”

A DEFENSIVE MASTERPIECE Backs against the wall and the @dallasmavs defense STEPPED UP in the 122-84 win.Game 5: Monday, 8:30pm/et, ABC pic.twitter.com/JY6HpgCiOZ

Early in the series, especially when Kristaps Porzingis was on the court, the Mavericks kept their big man higher on the floor — away from the paint — because they feared Boston’s 3-point shooting. That opened up driving lanes and led to lay-ups or drive-and-kick plays for the Celtics.

Dallas has come to the conclusion (much as it did against Oklahoma City) that its defense is best when one of its centers — Daniel Gafford or Derrick Lively — lives near the rim. The Mavericks wanted to take away the easy buckets.

It worked. Boston shot just 10-of-17 in the restricted area and 3-of-16 in the rest of the paint. The Celtics didn’t make them pay with 3s.

Can Dallas now replicate that on the road in Boston? That’s the next big test.

That was MVP Luka.

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