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Celtics Hope to Capitalize on Series in Game 3

Griffin McGirr
The Celtics will take on the Dallas Mavericks tomorrow night, June 12th.

For the 22nd time in franchise history, the Boston Celtics have earned a spot in the NBA Finals. The path has been a long one. The C’s have defeated the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Indiana Pacers, all formidable opponents. Boston will be taking on the fifth-seed Dallas Mavericks, led by former Celtic Kyrie Irving and superstar Luka Doncic. The Celtics were 2-0 against Dallas this season, and are currently up 2-0 in the series.

However, Dallas won’t go quietly. Local hooping enthusiast Harry Grimshaw shared his thoughts on the Mavs stars Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic, “I think they’re stars of the league. Kyrie’s a past face of the league, Luka’s an upcoming star.” Although they have their stars, Grimshaw believes the Celtics have what it takes to win the title, “I think it’s our year. We have a great coach, great players, just happy with the way things are turning out. But it doesn’t mean anything without a ring.” 

There’s no doubt that the Celtics are one of, if not the most talented team in the league right now. Superstars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have been on fire all season long. The roster, however, is stacked with talent.

New additions, including former Maverick Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, have been absolutely dominant this season. In the Celtics series-deciding Game 4 against the Pacers, Holiday made back-to-back offensive and defensive game-winning plays. Porzingis feels confident about returning after his most recent injury in late April: “I have to go out there and play like it’s a basketball game, an important basketball game, and that’s it. I don’t need to think too much or, yeah, overthink. Just go out there and hoop…I have to feel confident to go out there and leave it all on the floor and expect that I’m going to be healthy and completely fine.” (CBS)

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Porzingis, the 7’ 2’’ Center, has been a match-up nightmare in the league this entire season. In an interview with Celtics media, Porzingis touched on his competitive fire going into the series. “It burns inside of me not being able to be out there.” 

Kyrie Irving has also been a topic of controversy as he is one of the Celtic’s most hated former players. Irving is frequently booed whenever he makes an appearance in Boston. The bad blood stems from 2019, when Irving promised Celtics fans he would re-sign, and then went on to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency. The betrayal left Boston infuriated and added a little more motivation to win this series now that Irving is in Dallas.

On Wednesday, June 12, the Celtics will play game 3 versus the Mavs in Dallas. So far in the series, Brown and Porzingis have been outstanding. The former has gone off for 43 points so far this series. Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd had high praise for Brown, saying “Jaylen’s their best player.”

Porzingis has also been crucial to the C’s success in the past 2 games. In his return, he made an impact on both sides of the floor. He’s combined for 32 points and made some incredible chase-down blocks. Porzingis is not the only one contributing on offense however, as the Celtics are the #1 rated defense in the league, putting up a rating of 107.6.

But on the other end of the spectrum, Jayson Tatum has been relatively quiet so far and hopes to turn things around going into game 3. When ESPN media asked him about his playmaking so far in the series, he said, “Obviously I need to shoot better, golly.”

Although they finished first in the East by 14 games, first in the league by 7 games, and clinched the top record in the league before 12 teams clinched a playoff spot, none of it means anything without an 18th banner in TD Garden.