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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Celtics take commanding lead in NBA finals

Photo Credit: Flickr

Following a dominant performance in game 1, the Celtics took a commanding 2-0 lead in the finals after a 105-98 win last night. The Celtics were led by Jrue Holiday’s 26 points, 18 points and 12 assists from Jayson Tatum and another 21 points from Jaylen Brown.

The Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks find themselves in a deep 2-0 hole against the more experienced Boston Celtics. After a surprisingly dominant performance against the 2 seeded Timberwolves, the Mavericks seem to have cooled down in  spite of dominant performances from star player, Luka Dončić.

Dončić was questionable heading into the game with nagging knee and ankle injuries as well as a bruised chest. In spite of his injuries, he was still highly productive, posting a triple double with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. However, his production saw a significant decrease in the second half, with Dončić only scoring 9 of his 32 points after halftime.

This is the first NBA Finals of Dončić’s young, but impressive career. He led the league in scoring, averaging 33.9 points per game. He also averaged a respectable 9.2 rebounds and 9.8 assists, proving his versatility in yet another MVP caliber season.

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The 24-year old received 4 MVP votes, finishing 3rd behind Shai-Gilgeous Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder with 15 and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets with 79.

Unfortunately for Dončić and the Mavericks, a supporting cast that was heavily efficient throughout the playoffs, has been uncharacteristically lackluster. Kyrie Irving, who had the most postseason points in the 4th quarter through the first three rounds, is shooting 0 for 8 from three. Since leaving Boston in 2019, Irving is 0-12 against the Celtics.

This is no new territory for Irving, as he appeared in the finals 3 times during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He suffered a devastating knee injury in game 1 of the 2015 finals, missing the rest of the series. However, he redeemed himself the very next year, hitting the game winning shot in game 7 of the 2016 finals. His clutch shot helped bring the Cavaliers their first ever championship.

More importantly, Irving went down 2-0 in 2 of those 3 finals. He made history alongside LeBron James in game 3 of the 2016 finals, scoring 41 points. They became the first teammates to score 40 points each in a finals game.

He had a solid performance in game 3 of the 2017 finals as well, scoring 38.

Maverick head coach, Jason Kidd made the news after stating that Jaylen Brown, not the more popular Jayson Tatum was the Celtics star player. In spite of another poor shooting performance, Tatum still had a productive game with an near triple-double.

As for Brown, he had 21 points and 3 steals, showcasing his capability as a two-way player.

Brown was given the MVP of the Eastern Conference Finals after a spectacular performance, averaging 29.8 points per game. Although, Brown was given the honor, Tatum was worthy of the award himself. He averaged a double-double with 30.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in the 4 games. Brown, Tatum and the Celtics have had a dominant playoff run, losing just two games in the first three rounds. Many argue that the Celtics didn’t get any of those teams at full strength as each team they faced had a major injury. The Miami Heat were without Jimmy Butler, the Cavs were without Donovan Mitchell and Tyrese Haliburton was battling injury. Celtics fans would counter that by saying they were without Kristaps Porzingis until game 1 of the finals.

Brown and Tatum had productive games as per usual, but Jrue Holiday was the main guy in last night’s game. He scored 26 points and added 11 rebounds while shooting 11 of 14. Holiday also made key plays and showcased his impressive perimeter defense throughout the game.

Unlike the Mavs, the Celtics supporting cast has shown up and provided backup for Tatum and Brown in both games.  In addition to Tatum and Brown’s 38 total points in game 1, the Celtics got key contributions from a returning Porzingis, Derrick White and Holiday. Porzingis added 20 points while White and Holiday added 15 and 12 while making key plays on the other end. In last night’s game, Porzingis and Derrick White added 12 and 18 points to add to Holiday’s productive night. The performances from Boston’s supporting cast have made the difference in the series thus far.

The one downside, if there was any for Boston last night was that Porzingis appeared to re-aggravate his calf. He left the game in the 4th quarter and didn’t return. He will be evaluated on Monday before game 3 on Wednesday.

Unlike game 1 where Boston dominated throughout the game, the game remained relatively close. Boston kept a comfortable advantage, leading by as much as 13 and entering the 4th quarter with a 83-74 advantage.

Outside of Dončić, the Mavericks shot very poorly. They were 2 of 13 from beyond the arc in the second half and 6 of 26 in the game. They also shot poorly from the free throw line, converting on just 8 of their 24 attempts.

Game 3 will be on Wednesday at 8:30 P.M eastern time. The Celtics will look to take a commanding 3-0 lead in this year’s finals, a deficit no team has come back from before. As for the Mavericks, Irving and Dončić will look to shift the momentum their way.

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About the Contributor
Dylan Miller
Dylan Miller, Editor
Dylan Miller is currently a Junior at Colonia High School,he enjoys participating in sports,earning varsity letters in Cross Country,Winter Track and Spring Track. In addition to participating in sports, Dylan also follows the NFL,NBA and MLB. Scouting is a large part of Dylan’s extracurricular activities,while on his path to Eagle,he will learn more about leadership and communication. When he’s not busy in school or running,he enjoys watching TV shows like Ted Lasso,he also likes listening to sports analysts Colin Cowherd,Jim Rome or Dan Patrick. He aspires to get in the sports field 

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