NBA News: June 15th

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The Dallas Mavericks find themselves in a dire situation in the 2024 NBA Finals. Down 3-0 to the Boston Celtics, history is not on their side. No team has ever come back from such a deficit in NBA history. The NBA Finals odds give Dallas a mere 5% chance of turning the series around, with their chances of winning the title set at +2000.

NBA Finals 2024 Game 1

Boston has shown dominance throughout the series, leveraging their strong defense and tactical play. The Celtics’ ability to switch defensively and exploit mismatches has kept Dallas on their heels. Boston’s approach of driving to the basket and kicking the ball out for open three-pointers has been particularly effective, as evidenced by their 127 attempts from beyond the arc compared to 121 from inside through the first three games.

Despite Luka Doncic’s undeniable talent, his performance alone hasn’t been enough to level the playing field. Boston’s defensive strategy has successfully targeted Doncic, who has struggled on the defensive end, leading to costly mistakes and fouls. This has left Dallas vulnerable, especially since Boston’s depth means they can maintain pressure even when key players rest.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been standout performers for the Celtics, with Brown emerging as the favorite for Finals MVP. The duo’s consistent scoring and defensive tenacity have been instrumental in Boston’s commanding lead.

The odds for the series outcome strongly favor the Celtics, with a sweep being the most likely scenario at -110. For Mavericks fans holding onto hope, the focus is now on whether Dallas can extend the series by winning Game 4 at home. A victory would still leave Boston as a heavy favorite to clinch the championship back in their home arena.

As the Mavericks prepare for what could be their final game of the season, the NBA Finals odds paint a grim picture. While a miraculous comeback is statistically improbable, Dallas will aim to fight back and avoid the sweep, making their mark on this historic series.



NBA Player Damian Lillard

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers revealed that Damian Lillard entered his first season with the team in less-than-ideal shape. Lillard, awaiting a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers, admitted to not working out all summer, fearing an injury before his big move.

Rivers shared on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” that Lillard confessed to doing only light running and shooting alone in the gym. “This is the worst shape I’ve ever been in,” Lillard told Rivers candidly.

Lillard’s trade to the Bucks in September 2023 came after 11 seasons in Portland. Despite missing Milwaukee’s first two preseason games, he quickly integrated into the team and still earned his eighth All-Star nod. However, his efficiency from deep and overall shooting percentages dropped compared to previous seasons.

Lillard also faced challenges in the playoffs, missing two crucial games against the Indiana Pacers due to an Achilles injury.

Looking ahead, Lillard is determined to return stronger. Rivers mentioned that Lillard is now training twice daily and has already lost weight. As the NBA Finals odds begin to shape up for the next season, the Bucks are hopeful that a rejuvenated Lillard will boost their championship aspirations.