Luka Doncic & the ‘No Shows’ have no chance against superior Boston Celtics

The type of game the Dallas Mavericks needed happened, and they still didn’t win. The Mavericks are now unofficially in “extend the series” mode.

The Dallas Mavericks are 0-4 against the Boston Celtics in 2024, and the way things are progressing they will be fortunate to “get just one.”

The Celtics entered these NBA Finals as the favorites, and those who picked the Mavericks to win this series may have been kidding themselves. Or they had too much to drink. This isn’t close.

Boston is out-playing Dallas all over the floor, and even though the Mavericks played much better in Game 2 they still lost 105-98. The Celtics lead the series 2-0; Game 3 is Wednesday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The series is already most likely gone, but a loss in Game 3 and it’s time to break out the pooper-scoopers.

The team that takes a 2-0 series lead is 31-5 in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series. One of those teams that lost an NBA Finals despite a 2-0 lead, your Mavericks.

The Mavs led the Miami Heat 2-0 in the 2006 NBA Finals, and lost four straight.

Nothing has happened thus far in Games 1 or 2 that says the Mavericks should have won either, or are the better team that happened to lose.

The Mavericks’ Luka Doncic is the best player in this series, but the other top players all play for the Celtics. Doncic finished with a triple-double, 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. The way his teammates played, he needed a fifty double (not sure what that is, but it sounds good).

At one point in the first half, it looked like the Mavericks were going to break the Celtics. Doncic was “on” and he was jawing with some older Celtics fan on the sidelines. Turns out it was the owner of the Boston Celtics.

“Sorry, I don’t know who is the Celtics owner,” Doncic said in the post game press conference of the conversation with the fan. “At the end of the day, we have to make more shots to win the game.

“I had too many turnovers. We missed a lot of free throws. I think that’s what cost us the game.”

Doncic had eight turnovers. The Mavs missed eight free throws. They lost by seven.

Doncic did cut the deficit to 5 with 1:15 left to cap a 9-0 run that made what had been another depressing fourth quarter feel a lot different. The Mavs then forced a turnover, but P.J. Washington’s breakaway dunk attempt was blocked at the rim, and that was it.

The block was clean, but replays showed that Celtics guard Jaylen Brown pushed Washington in the back and a foul should have been called.

“Looked like a foul but it wasn’t called so it wasn’t a foul,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said in the post game press conference

That non-call is not a reason why the Mavericks lost.

“They were the No. 1 team in the NBA. The No. 1 record,” Doncic said. “They have a lot of great players.”

The Mavs are thus far simply the inferior team, and this is a bad matchup. Because the Celtics are a bad matchup for every team in the NBA.

The Celtics are now 14-2 in the playoffs, and have won nine consecutive games. The Mavs’ loss on Sunday was the first time they have lost consecutive games in these playoffs.

The Mavs lost despite the fact the Celtics made just 10-of-39 from 3-point range. That’s a lot of misses that the Mavs had to convert into points to win.

They lost because the Mavs made 6-of-26 from 3-point range. Mavs not named “Doncic” made just 2-of-17 from three.

They lost because their clear No. 2 is playing like a number two.

The one matchup, other than Doncic, that should favor the Mavericks by a comfortable margin - guard Kyrie Irving against anybody - has not played out the way they need. Irving scored eight points in the first quarter, and it looked like he was going to have “one of those nights.”

He didn’t. Irving finished with 16 points and six assists. He has been a non-factor in this series.

Besides Doncic, no one has established himself as a consistent threat.

Washington has had a few stretches, but he’s not making shots consistently. Mavs center Daniel Gafford finally appeared in the second half, but he hasn’t done much.

Derek Lively and Derrick Jones have provided little; the Mavs bench combined for nine points in Game 2.

Other than Maxi Kleber and Lively, Kidd doesn’t trust many guys on his bench. He is just throwing guys out there and hope one works.

Kleber looks like he has no place in this series; the Celtics are targeting him and he’s a problem if he can’t make an open shot.

All of those combined off nights by the Mavs’ “other guys” made it possible for the Celtics to win when their best player, Jayson Tatum, made just 6-of-22 from the floor.

Celtics guard Drue Holiday led his team with 26 points and 11 rebounds. The Mavs have no chance if Drue Holiday is going to pop for 20-and-10 type of games.

The Mavs are down 0-2, and they may not have much of a chance.

They have no chance if no one other than Doncic shows up.