NBA Finals: 2 Huge keys toward the Dallas Mavericks defending their home floor

The Mavericks have to find ways to prevent the Celtics from taking advantage of them on the defensive end and must limit the costly mistakes on offense.
Will Doncic be able to lead the Mavs to a win in Game 3 of the NBA Finals?
Will Doncic be able to lead the Mavs to a win in Game 3 of the NBA Finals? / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
3 of 3

The Mavericks Have to Show More Effort on Defense

The Mavs will have to go back to the drawing board when it pertains to their defensive approach. They have to be more aggressive and put more emphasis on that side of the floor. They have to at least match the Celtics' intensity on defense because that is what has ultimately been the difference so far in the series.

The Celtics have deliberately targeted Irving and have succeeded at taking him out of his game by baiting him in and having multiple players guard him. The Mavs are not equipped with great shooters, and the ones they have are being forced to take uncomfortable shots late in the shot clock.

The Mavs shot worse from downtown than the Celtics did during Game 2, and a lot of them were uncontested looks. If a few of those attempts fall for the Mavs, it's possible that the series could be looking completely different. Doncic and Irving certainly aren't great defenders but has played fairly decent in the other playoff series leading up to the Finals.

The Mavs usually play excellent team defense in order to help cover up some of their deficiencies, but Doncic and Irving have been getting exposed on the defensive end. All 5 of the Celtics starters are all adept at shooting the three at a high efficiency, so the Mavs defenders has to be locked in all game long, especially along the perimeter. In the other series, they have lived with using centers Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively II roaming and wreaking havoc in the paint and closing out hard on three-point attempts.

The Celtics space the floor well, and the Mavs just simply don't have enough players who can rotate quickly enough to cover their ground. It may be a difficult task defending the Celtics' potent offense even on their home floor as the Mavs own one of the worst defensive ratings at home in the postseason.

Next. Mock Draft 15. NBA Mock Draft 15.0: Big name tumbles due to injury; Grizzlies trade up for defensive big. dark