Driscoll’s Breakdown and Predictions for 2024 NBA Finals


Well, we’re finally here. The moment we have all been waiting for. The NBA Finals will start tonight.

It has been one wild season, and the 2023-24 campaign could be over as early as later next week.

With all this said, here are storylines to look for heading into the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks.



Many think this will be one of the most exciting NBA Finals that we have seen in a while. Considering these are both extremely fun teams to watch, just think about the narratives. Many also consider both Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic to be top-five players, and they will be facing off. Seeing two superstars whose names have often been intertwined go head-to-head on the national stage is always must-see TV.

In addition, watching Kyrie Irving and Kristaps Porzingis face their old teams is a whole lot of fun. This is great for the average fan who may not watch the NBA as much. With this being said, it will be even more fun for people who just love to watch basketball.


Mavericks Breakdown

Few teams received more slander than the Mavericks last season. They willingly tanked the last few games of the year, leading them to miss the Play-In Tournament. This led to many believing that the Mavericks would not have a shot to win the title at least for a couple of years. The slander continued for a good amount of the regular season. While many thought it would have been a good idea for them to try to trade some of their veterans for picks, they had other plans.

The Mavericks did trade some of their underachieving players for better role options, P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford. Both of them have been phenomenal additions and are big reasons why they are where they are now. Doncic and Irving are debatably the most talented offensive backcourt of all time. However, the Mavericks finished the season hot because of their defense. They had the best defensive rating in the league for the last 15 games. Speaking of Irving, he has also been fantastic all season long and is putting together his best season since he was in Cleveland. Historically speaking, we would look at a No. 5 seed as a team with no shot to win the finals, but this is by no means a traditional No. 5 seed.

Dallas is 100 percent capable of upsetting the Celtics.

Celtics Breakdown

As far as it goes for the Celtics, they were by far the best team in the regular season. Brad Stevens made two massive trades in the offseason, swapping Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III, and Malcolm Brogdon for Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday. By making these trades, Stevens showed everyone that he was all-in and willing to pay the price. These trades certainly worked out for them in the regular season.


Porzingis looked more comfortable in this role than in any role he had previously assumed. Meanwhile, Holiday going from the second option on the Bucks to the fourth or fifth option on the Celtics has made him a much more efficient offensive player. In addition to the two new guys, Derrick White has taken a massive step, and both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown put together debatably their best individual seasons. With this all being said, none of that matters now. Teams do not get rewarded in the finals for how great they played in the regular season and the playoffs, so Boston is hoping it can continue to dominate in the finals as it did in the regular season and playoffs.

How the Mavericks Can Win the NBA Finals

For the Mavericks to win, a few things must go their way. First, Doncic will have to play to his potential. I’m not asking him to average 40 points and 12 assists on elite efficiency, but anything less than 30 and seven with below-average efficiency and bad defense is not going to cut it. I would be shocked if we saw anything close to that, though.

In addition, Irving will likely need to play at an All-Star level. Like Doncic, I’m not expecting 28 points per game on elite efficiency. However, 22 points per game on average efficiency while making the right plays down the stretch seems more than necessary.

For their role players, they will need at least one of their guys a night to help Doncic and Irving at certain points in the game. This is a star-driven league. However, you need non-star players who step up in big moments. Aaron Gordon, Andrew Wiggins, and Brook Lopez are great examples of this. Washington and Derrick Jones Jr. are more than capable of surprising everyone by going off in a game.

Defensively, Gafford and Dereck Lively II will need to defend the rim the best they can. While the Celtics do rely heavily on the three, the Mavs should make them feel uncomfortable on the inside. Luka and Kyrie are not great perimeter defenders, but they will need to (and can) hold their own against this heavy three-point shot team. Both the Mavs’ defense and transition offense have been fantastic for most of the second half of the season and playoffs. This will need to continue if they want to beat the Celtics. 

How the Celtics Can Win the NBA Finals

If the Celtics want to win, their superstar needs to play great. I do not expect Tatum to drop 50 like he did in Game 7 against the Sixers last year. However, I do expect him to be consistent and not lay too many goose eggs. In addition, Brown needs to continue doing what he has done these playoffs: do not settle for bad jumpers; be patient, but also be aggressive when necessary.

Outside of their two stars, perhaps the biggest X-factor for the Celtics is how effective Porzingis will be. If the Celtics get the same version they have had of him all season long, they are going to be tough to beat. With this being said, even if the Celtics get a great version of Porzingis, their role players will still need to play well. White and Holiday will need to continue to push the pace. Payton Prichard and Sam Hauser need to hit their threes. 

On the defensive end, it seems like the Celtics’ strategy will be to let Doncic do what he wants while closing opportunities for everyone else. Will this backfire? Nobody knows, but Joe Mazzula has been good at making defensive adjustments all season long. This will need to continue, especially on nights when Doncic isn’t missing.

As a whole, the Celtics need to hit their shots (if shots are not falling, they must move the ball as best as possible), take care of the basketball, and close out on three-pointers. If they do these things, they should win this series.

My NBA Finals Prediction

I mentioned that Porzingis will be the X-factor for the Celtics. If he does not play well, I think Washington will be the X-factor for Dallas. He is someone who can make Tatum uncomfortable while also hitting some clutch shots on the other end.

While the Mavericks are an extremely impressive team, it seems like a lot of things need to go well for them. Similarly, plenty needs to go bad for the Celtics to lose their shot at glory. I fully anticipate at least one game where the Celtics can’t seem to make a shot or stop the Mavs from making one. Even if this is a short series, expect almost every game to come down to the wire.

While I fully expect the Mavericks to fight tooth and nail with the Celtics, I think the Celtics will be just a little too much for them. 

Prediction: Celtics in 5


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