NBA Finals: How Dallas Can Counter Boston’s Momentum

boston vs dallas nba finals game 3


As the NBA Finals shift to Dallas, the Boston Celtics hold a 2-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks. With the series moving to Dallas, can Boston continue its winning streak on the road, or will Dallas secure its first win in Game 3?


SPREAD: Celtics +1.5 (-110), Mavericks -1.5 (-110)

MONEYLINE: Celtics +105, Mavericks -123U

TOTAL: Celtics O 212.5 (-110), Mavericks 212.5 (-110)




One of the major issues for the Mavericks has been their shooting performance from beyond the arc. Players other than Luka Doncic have struggled significantly, combining for a mere 5-of-32 from three-point range in the Finals. Doncic, who is averaging 31 points per game, has been the team’s standout performer, but he needs more support.

Historically, role players tend to shoot better at home. This trend has held true for Dallas throughout their playoff run. During home games, Dallas’ players not named Doncic or Kyrie Irving have shot 48.6% from the field and 38% from three-point range. In contrast, their road percentages have been lower, at 46.1% from the field and 34.7% from deep. In the first two games of the Finals in Boston, Dallas’ role players managed 45% shooting from the field but only 20.5% from three-point range.


The Mavs’ overall three-point shooting stands at 24.5% in the Finals, with non-Doncic players hitting just 15.6% of their attempts. With 29 of their 32 missed three-point shots being open or wide open, Dallas must capitalize on these opportunities to have a chance at turning the series around. The change of venue to Dallas could help them regain their shooting touch. This improvement could significantly impact the NBA Finals odds, which often fluctuate based on the performance of key role players and their ability to support star athletes like Doncic.




Another adjustment for Dallas involves exploiting their size advantage in the paint. In Game 2, Jayson Tatum spent the most time defending Daniel Gafford, who managed to score 11 points in the second half by utilizing post-ups and pick-and-roll plays with Kyrie Irving.

If the Celtics continue to defend with smaller players against Dallas’ bigs, the Mavericks must take full advantage. The potential injury to Kristaps Porzingis, although deemed fine by Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla, could weaken Boston’s front line, giving Dallas more opportunities to dominate inside. Maximizing their scoring chances in the paint will be crucial for the Mavs in Game 3.




Turnovers and missed free throws have been significant issues for Dallas. In Game 2, the Mavericks’ missed free throws and turnovers contributed directly to their loss. The final score margin of seven points mirrored the disparity in missed free throws — Dallas missed eight, while Boston missed only one. Additionally, Dallas committed 15 turnovers, leading to 21 points for Boston, compared to Boston’s 10 turnovers resulting in 12 points for Dallas.


Reducing turnovers is particularly vital for the Mavericks. This season, they have a much better win rate when committing fewer than 15 turnovers. Specifically, Dallas is 15-19 (.441) when they commit 15 or more turnovers and 47-20 (.701) when they commit fewer.

As Mavericks coach Jason Kidd emphasized, taking care of the ball is essential. By minimizing mistakes, Dallas can increase their scoring opportunities and improve their chances of winning.