The Boston Celtics went into Wednesday night looking to bounce back from a lackluster loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls on Monday. Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks were coming off two consecutive sweeps for the Green Team.
The Mavs’ only notable absence was the German big man, Maxi Kleber losing time with a lower back contusion. The Celtics have been as healthy as they’ve been all season except for familiar names Danilo Gallinari (anterior cruciate ligament tear) and Robert Williams (knee surgery), who have unfortunately made their spot on the injury report.
Wednesday’s action broke out fast and hard as each team combined to get a perfect 6/6 from the ground. It quickly became apparent how the Mavs wanted to play entirely via Luka Isolations with few play setups.
Doncic took 10 of Dallas’ first 13 points to open the contest and on the flip side the offense was a thing of beauty and the fortune spread far and wide. The quarter ended with Jaylen Brown having a hot hand with 13 points in the opener as Beantown held off their Texas opponents’ 34 points.
As the game approached the halfway point, it was a complete blowout with Boston leading the Mavs 70-49 at the half. Balanced scoring output from the start propelled the C’s to greater heights against a Dallas team with a keen sense of defense.
Luca & Co kept pace with the Celts in the third which made the game very interesting with excellent play emerging from Christian Wood off the bench. They cut it down to the 16 hopefuls who go into the final frame.
The Jays took turns in the closing minutes as the Boston Celtics pounced on the Dallas Mavericks for the first time since 2019. The final score saw the C’s take the W, 125-112!
Here are 3 takeaways from the Boston Celtics on the Mavericks
No. 1 duel Tatum Luca lives up to the hype
Two of the NBA’s brightest pillars collided in what was an absolute delight for NBA fans. No matter where you fall on who is the best superstar in the totem, there are powerful cases to be made for every player.
In the loss, Luka Doncic dominated by scoring 42 points, nine assists, and eight boards on 17/28 shooting, 3/8 from the 3-point line, and 5/9 from the foul line. On the defensive end, he may have been a bogey because he was too overwhelmed to squeeze his shoulder blades just for the Mavs to spar.
For the first three quarters, the Slovenian goalkeeper didn’t look much for his teammates at all. The passes appear to have been lifted toward the closing frame—the context is all from those who watched a very selfish brand of basketball.
On the other hand, Jayson Tatum led the C’s with 37 points, 13 rebounds (a game high), and fifteen cents to go with two rejections for good measure. The six-foot-nine forward played within the team’s concept and racked up a large number of points from catching one-point passes from his teammates. He played with his head up when drawing two and kicking to open up the pitchers or find cutters on the baselines.
The difference to why I take Tatum on Luka Magic is its two-way effect. We’re looking at one of the best two-way stars in the association right now. He can keep right with the Mavs’ guard on the offensive end but has an uncanny ability to protect the best perimeter player on the defensive side of the ball.
Something Doncic simply can’t do given the amount he’s spending on the other end of the earth. They also hid him at that end of the earth. He will be assigned to guard Horford or Smart because either Jay will cook him like Andrew Wiggins did in WCF.