2024 NBA Finals: 4 keys to a Dallas Mavericks Game 3 win

A look at four keys for the Dallas Mavericks if they are going to win Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

NBA Finals: Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks
Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks currently trail 0-2 in the NBA Finals after losing both games to the Celtics in Boston, although they had a very good opportunity to win game two late down the stretch but just couldn’t get to the finish line.

The series now shifts to Dallas and in order to win Game 3 on Wednesday night, there are some things they need to do a much better job of.

4. Dallas Mavericks must limit turnovers

NBA: Finals-Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics
Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Over the first two games of the NBA Finals, Dallas has had a total of 26 turnovers. Game 2 in particular, they were extremely careless with the basketball committing 15. In their defense, the Celtics are the second-best defense in basketball and every player on their roster is at least 6-foot-5, which gives them the ability to switch onto smaller players like Kyrie Irving.

From what we’ve seen over the first two games, whenever the Mavericks were within striking distance, they seem to have been rattled and lose their composure. Let’s see if they are able to play at a smoother pace in this next game.

Related: Winners and losers from Game 2 of the NBA Finals

3. Keep Boston Off the Free Throw Line

This sounds simple but it’s difficult to do when you’re trying to play physical against a team that’s more physically imposing. The Celtics have a huge advantage as far as size is concerned, with every player being at least 6-foot-5. They have taken advantage of it at every turn, especially at the free throw line. Boston has attempted 19 and 20 free throw attempts over the first two games respectively. Giving the Celtics free points at the free throw line is a recipe for disaster.

2. Dallas Mavericks must make more three-pointers

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic
Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

If a team is going to beat the Boston Celtics, making three point shots is a must. The Mavericks made 13 threes combined in the first two games of the NBA Finals. The Celtics made 16 in Game 1 alone. Dallas has had so many open looks that they just have not converted. The old saying about the playoffs remain true: role players play better at home.

Maybe the likes of PJ Washington and Maxi Kleber will wake up in Game 3 and get back on track and start making more shots in front of their home crowd. For what it’s worth, Tim Hardaway Jr. has barely played in this series and he’s one of their best shooters. But there’s someone else who needs to snap out of the funk he’s in as well: Kyrie Irving.

Related: Winners and losers from Game 1 of the NBA Finals

1. Kyrie Irving must be better

For the only player on the Dallas Mavericks who has NBA Finals experience, one would think that Kyrie Irving would find a way to rise to the occasion. Granted, it’s against his former team and it was a tumultuous time in Boston when he was on the Celtics, too much to explain. Boston is known for being a hostile environment.

He only scored 12 points in Game 1 and it did not help matters when after that game, he said the following about the crowd at TD Garden: “I thought it was going to be louder in here.” Message heard. He followed up that no show performance by scoring 16 in game two. If Dallas has ANY chance of getting back in this series, Kyrie must show up.

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