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5 Story Lines To Watch For During The 2024 NBA Finals

The Boston Celtics have been the top team in the NBA throughout the entirety of the 2023-24 season. They’ve cruised through the Eastern Conference playoffs on their way to their second NBA Finals appearance in three seasons, and will look to take home their first championship since 2008 behind Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown, and their outstanding supporting cast.

They’ll be listed as the favorites, but will be tested by a surging Dallas Mavericks team. Both Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving are playing some of the best basketball of their careers at the right time, and have entered the conversation of best backcourt duos of all time thanks to their Finals run.

5 Story Lines To Watch For During 2024 NBA Finals

What are some of the more interesting story lines to follow in this year’s version of the NBA Finals? Here are five of the best:

1. Kyrie Irving Back In Boston

Kyrie Irving isn’t exactly the most popular guy in opposing arenas, and certainly isn’t held in high regard by Celtics fans. There is plenty of bad blood between the two sides, including Irving stomping on “Lucky”, the painting of the team’s mascot at center court, when he was a member of the Brooklyn Nets. The boos will almost certainly be louder than they’ve ever been during the upcoming series, and we’ll see if it has any effect on the Mavericks’ star.

2. Can Jayson Tatum Step Up Late In Games?

The two sides have arrived in the NBA Finals by taking two very different paths. Both teams were dominant in the Conference Finals, but the Mavericks played some hard fought contests that featured late game heroics in previous matchups, while the Celtics mostly coasted past the Heat, Cavaliers, and Pacers. Boston’s star player, Jayson Tatum, has struggled in big games and clutch situations throughout his career, and the Celtics will need him to step up if they want to take home the O’Brien Trophy.

3. Will Porzingis Be Available For Boston?

Kristaps Porziņģis was a big reason for the Celtics’ success during the regular season, but he has been mostly unavailable for Boston during their playoff run. He suffered a calf injury in the first round against the Miami Heat, but the Celtics haven’t fallen off much as role players have stepped up in his absence.

Boston will have had 9 days off when Game 1 of the Finals rolls around, and it is presumed that Porziņģis will be available for the first time in well over a month.

4. How Will Dončić Perform On The Biggest Possible Stage?

Kyrie Irving has experience with playing in the NBA Finals, but Luka Dončić will be making his first appearance this year. He has been one of the league’s best players over the past 5 seasons and has become a perennial MVP candidate, and can give a serious boost to his resume and his status as a superstar player if he is able to bring the Mavericks to their first championship since 2011.

5. Will Rust Be A Factor For Either Team?

The time off will be nice for players like Porziņģis and Dončić, who have ailments that they’ll look to heal up before the biggest series of the year. But the Mavericks will have a full week off, and the Celtics will have had a nine-day break when June 6th rolls around, and there could be some rust that affects one or both of the sides during the first or even second game.

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