Game 3 Celtics vs. Mavericks Preview Article

VirginiaCavs

CTG Super Moderator
Staff member
Celtics vs. Mavericks NBA Finals Game 3 Best Bet: The Forecast Calls For Raining Threes

Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks
Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at 8:30 p.m. ET at American Airlines Center in Dallas

The Opportunities Are There

Throughout this series, both teams have had numerous open and wide-open three-point opportunities that they failed to convert.

My point here is that the chances to score more points from three are there, but neither team has taken advantage despite their general ability to do so.

Game 2, which totaled 203 points, saw even more brutal three-point shooting from both teams than Game 1: Dallas shot 23.1 percent from deep while Boston converted 25.6 percent of its three-point attempts.

Both teams have too many good three-point shooters to continue to shoot so poorly from behind the arc.

If Dallas' season-long home three-point shooting percentage were an overall (instead of just home) statistic, the Mavs would be eighth in three-point shooting percentage, ahead of Boston's road three-point conversion rate by .1 percent.

Guys Are Open

Boston is leaving the likes of PJ Washington open in order to pack the paint.

Washington has enjoyed tremendous games in this postseason – making as many as seven threes in one game – primarily by getting hot from behind the arc.

He is someone who has too much three-point shooting potential to continue to struggle from deep.

The same goes for guys like Josh Green and Maxi Kleber.

Boston wants to pack the paint in order to undercut the success that Dallas' centers found in their series against Minnesota, although Daniel Gafford started to figure things out in Game 2 with his 13-point performance.

However, especially because role players tend to thrive at home, the Mavericks must be expected to punish Boston for leaving them open from deep.

Kyrie Irving

Dallas is struggling to score primarily because it is only able to count on the offensive production of superstar Luka Doncic.

Irving, who is visibly rattled by the Boston crowd that hates him as a former Celtic, has underperformed. He's missing open shots, dribbling the ball off himself, and so on.

He also struggled in the regular season in Boston, yet he succeeded in Dallas against the Celtics, illustrating his capability to score effectively against this team.

As one of the best iso players in the sport, he should revive what had been an excellent postseason for him despite the various strong on-ball defenders whom he had faced.

Again, one can also look at it simply in terms of three-point shooting: he is 0-for-8 from deep in this series, which is absurd in view of his typical efficiency.

Dallas knows that, in order to compete with Boston, it has to get Irving going.

There are two strategies it knows it can employ to get him going: one is to have him operate as the primary ball-handler.

The effect of this first strategy is twofold: one, Irving gets to use his characteristic quickness against a Boston defense that has less time to set itself up.

Two, in using his characteristic quickness, Irving helps inject more tempo in the game, which Dallas knows Indiana did with significant success against Boston's defense.

Down 0-2, the Mavericks obviously need to shake things up. They have played faster in previous playoff rounds, and especially with Irving they have the personnel to speed things up.

Secondly, to get Irving going, Dallas can set more screens for him, freeing him up more to operate.

Jayson Tatum

Tatum helps Boston achieve high point totals, while he and his teammates shoot poorly, because he is so intelligent.

When double-teamed, Tatum understands what plays to make. He finds teammates, putting them in a position to succeed with a numerical advantage.

Tatum himself, though, will score more: in Game 2, his shot-missing was uncanny, as so many of his attempts around the rim somehow failed to go in.

Takeaway

For the game to go "over," it is primarily Dallas that needs to score more points relative to what it did in Games 1 and 2.

Luka will continue to be Luka, but Kyrie is also going to thrive now that the series moves outside of Boston and because there are various ways to ensure that he gets going.

He did have significant stretches of good offensive play in Game 2, so we already see that the potential is there for him to continue his strong postseason.

Luka and Kyrie's supporting cast will live up to their potential at home. Gafford is already figuring things out. Washington, but also guys like Green and Kleber, will find their stroke from deep.

Boston is already approaching 110 points for a given game. The Celtics simply need to approach their team potential from behind the arc.

Tatum is such a dynamic scorer, with his driving and step-back abilities, his moves inside, his shot. He is going to score more when he isn't continuing to amass assists by getting teammates involved.

The Side

If you want to play the side, I lean Boston. The Celtics are the better team getting plus money.

They are the underdogs because they are playing away from home, yet playing on the road does not bother them. They are undefeated on the road.

Moreover, they seem to have an extra gear that they can access in crunch time when their opponent threatens to win.

Relatedly, they have the experienced veterans who can execute in crunch time.

But Dallas also has stars who can close out games.

Because I like the Mavericks' offense in this game, I prefer playing the "over" to playing Boston.

Best Bet: Over 213 at -110 with BetOnline
 
I'm looking over in this game and a slight lean to Bos. I think the wrong team is favored regardless of home court. I don't mean Bos will win but they should still be the favorite. Thanks for sharing, your articles give good perspective and different angles to look at. GL going forward!!!!
 
I'm looking over in this game and a slight lean to Bos. I think the wrong team is favored regardless of home court. I don't mean Bos will win but they should still be the favorite. Thanks for sharing, your articles give good perspective and different angles to look at. GL going forward!!!!
I thought you were going to be on Dallas for Game 3?
 
I thought you were going to be on Dallas for Game 3?
I figured they would still be 5-7 pt dogs, 3-5 at best and that was before G2. I thought Dal would perform better and as usual they just lack the energy needed for 48 mins. Bos does the same as in only 1 three in the 1st half (won a parlay with that). The big difference to me is Bos has the D and the bench talent to cover up their scoring droughts where Dal has to work harder and longer to recoup from a drought. 1st Q Bos came out cold as hell and nearly won. 2nd Q they give up the lead and not until the last 6/7 mins 4th Q are they even a factor when Bos seems to just coast and only scoring when needed. As far as betting, right now I would take the over and Bos with points. Let's see if those #'s hold. Boston might be seeing blood and might decide to just end it. Been wrong before and will without doubt be wrong again. GL going forward!!!!
 
I figured they would still be 5-7 pt dogs, 3-5 at best and that was before G2. I thought Dal would perform better and as usual they just lack the energy needed for 48 mins. Bos does the same as in only 1 three in the 1st half (won a parlay with that). The big difference to me is Bos has the D and the bench talent to cover up their scoring droughts where Dal has to work harder and longer to recoup from a drought. 1st Q Bos came out cold as hell and nearly won. 2nd Q they give up the lead and not until the last 6/7 mins 4th Q are they even a factor when Bos seems to just coast and only scoring when needed. As far as betting, right now I would take the over and Bos with points. Let's see if those #'s hold. Boston might be seeing blood and might decide to just end it. Been wrong before and will without doubt be wrong again. GL going forward!!!!
I think I saw a stat that, with Boston 1/13 from deep and Luka at 23 points, the game was tied. Crazy.
 
I figured they would still be 5-7 pt dogs, 3-5 at best and that was before G2. I thought Dal would perform better and as usual they just lack the energy needed for 48 mins. Bos does the same as in only 1 three in the 1st half (won a parlay with that). The big difference to me is Bos has the D and the bench talent to cover up their scoring droughts where Dal has to work harder and longer to recoup from a drought. 1st Q Bos came out cold as hell and nearly won. 2nd Q they give up the lead and not until the last 6/7 mins 4th Q are they even a factor when Bos seems to just coast and only scoring when needed. As far as betting, right now I would take the over and Bos with points. Let's see if those #'s hold. Boston might be seeing blood and might decide to just end it. Been wrong before and will without doubt be wrong again. GL going forward!!!!
Home road swing in the playoffs usually in the vicinity of 7 pts. Dallas getting a tad more respect b/c of the situation - down 0-2, must win at home.
 
Like what you say about role players at home and Kyrie getting away from the Garden, If Dallas gets improved performances from it's role players and Irving, I think they take this game.
Especially with no KP. When they say his availability for upcoming games will be determined day-to-day, that doesn't bode well for him in Gm. 3, imo.

 
Last edited:
Back
Top