Kristaps Porzingis stars in return as Boston Celtics set dominant tone in Game 1 of NBA Finals

The Boston Celtics sent an overwhelming message to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
2024 NBA Finals - Game One
2024 NBA Finals - Game One / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Kristaps Porzingis stole the show in his return as the Boston Celtics continued their dominating ways.

All throughout their playoff run, there are many that continue to try to tear down what the Boston Celtics have built this season, attempting to disqualify their chances of polishing off a historically dominating season with an NBA Championship. At every turn, the Celtics continue to prove them all wrong. With the latest example of this took place in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

Heading into this series, all the talk surrounding the Celtics revolved around how the team wasn't battle-tested enough or how they were not equipped physically or psychologically to win a championship. It was only one game, but in Game 1 the Celtics all but expelled all of those arguments.

In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, it was all Celtics. From the opening tip, there were no doubts about who the better, deeper, and more experienced team was. It was Boston. The Celtics raced off to a 29-point lead in the first half and never looked back.

There was one point in the second half in which the Mavs found a way to cut Boston's lead to eight points, but Boston pushed it back to 20 points in the blink of an eye, and that was that.

Kristaps Porzingis, who returned for the first time since injuring his calf in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, played a vital role in Boston's dominating win. Coming off the bench, Kristaps finished with 20 points, six rebounds, and three blocks on 8-13 shooting from the field in 21 minutes played.

Any concern about rust or Kristaps being out of shape quickly disappeared. Kristaps picked up where he left off before the injury and continues to be a true X-factor for the Celtics.

Can the Dallas Mavericks bounce back in Game 2 of the NBA Finals?

If the Mavs are going to have any shot in this series against the Celtics, you'd have to think that their chances will begin and end with their ability to game plan for Kristaps. He was truly a cheat code for the Celtics on both ends of the floor and it's almost as if the Mavs didn't know how to attack Kristaps or how much he would actually play.

Heading into Game 2, that will no longer be a mystery. Aside from trying to solve the mismatches that Kristaps continually haunted the Mavs with, Dallas is going to need more from Kyrie Irving. In what ended up being an off-night for Kyrie, he finished with just 12 points on 6-19 shooting. No matter how good the Celtics play, the Mavs are not going to have any shot to win this series without Kyrie playing at an elite level on the offensive end of the floor.

It's just one game, but the Celtics seemingly continued their dominating performance. The question is, will their opponent have a response this time around? Against the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, that wasn't much of a case. All eyes are on Luka Doncic and the Mavs.

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