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2024 Finals: It’s on Tonight


Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum (pictured) is paired up well with teammate Jaylen Brown and looking for a second chance at the NBA Finals tonight. Credit: Instagram


The 2024 NBA Finals are on at Boston’s TD Garden between the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics. Casual and contentious fans alike will tune in to see if Boston inches further towards it’s 18 NBA Championship or if Dallas can steal a game (or two) and get back to American Airlines Arena with a chance at the Larry O’Brien Trophy, their second.

 

Casual fans know the Boston Celtics’ brand, which is interwoven with the NBA’s brand. Seventeen championships and 20 players on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team gets you noticed ... plus, Larry Bird. Dallas contributed four players to that list and only has one Championship to their name.

 

The discrepancy in representation doesn’t matter once the teams get on the court and the ball is tipped, but fans are placing bets and pondering how they can make the argument that “The Jays” aren’t worthy of praise, or their contracts, “because they haven’t won a title.” Or how Luka is the epitome of how Europeans are taking over the league and the American-born player is endangered. They’re ready to scream at any opinion a sports TV pundit takes that doesn’t align with their own and willing to argue down a whole 82” inch TV in the name of a league, organization, coach, player, logo, color that just lost them a bet.

 

Boston has both a young and veteran backcourt tandem in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, both multiple-time All-Stars and league leaders in scoring. “The Jays” last made it to the NBA Finals in 2022 losing to the Golden State Warriors. The wing guards are brothers in buckets, scoring from any and everywhere on the court and eager to leave these 2024 Finals as Champions. And, oh yeah, Brown signed the richest NBA contact last summer for a cool $300 million, and Tatum is set to cash in this summer, Champ or not. Just two ballin’ ass brothers in Boston. Balling.

 




Dallas has an exceptional backcourt duo of its own. Kyrie Irving and Luka Dončić move around the court, with and without the ball, like a choreographed dance. Luka is blunt force delivered with a disarmingly gentle touch. Kyrie is the embodiment of all the basketball moves ever, ready to be deployed in a split second, with precision and flare. In their second season together, they’ve already made it to the NBA Finals. Without having won a Championship, they’re called “the greatest backcourt of all time,” and it's easy to enjoy what they do and how they do it.

 

Both teams are a little long in the tooth when it comes to the age of their rosters. I’d be shaving 17 years off my life if I was the average age of the two teams, so I guess I’m the one long in the tooth. The older players for the Celtics see plenty of action and are vital to the team performance. The elder statesmen for the Mavericks mainly offer sage, veteran advice in the locker room and during time-outs.

 

Dallas is led by Coach Jason Kidd. A member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, 1994 Co-NBA Rookie of the Year, and a 10-time All-Star. Kidd brings the on-court accomplishment Dallas lacks organizationally. Boston, led by second-year coach, Joe Mazzulla, doesn’t have the player resume of Kidd, but has started his coaching career with a winning percentage of 74 and effectively utilizes the Celtics foundational infrastructure to establish his own era in Boston.

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Mark Patton is an owner of too many sneakers, a passionate and persistent advocate for public school students experiencing homelessness and a big sports fan with immaculate taste in Hip-hop music.

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