NBA Conference Playoffs Recap and Finals

Image: NBA

By Aarav Sapra

The 2024 NBA Finals matchup is set with the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks contending for the NBA championship. The Celtics reached the NBA finals for the second time in three years after going 12-2 in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, including sweeping the Pacers. Meanwhile, the Mavericks are back in the Finals for the first time since 2011, having secured their spot by eliminating the Minnesota Timberwolves. The star power is tremendous on both teams. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic are two of the top five players in basketball and were both recently voted to the All-NBA First Team. Boston guard Jaylen Brown is also playing the best basketball of his career and was named the MVP of the Eastern Conference Finals. 

A win could mean many things for both teams, the archrival Lakers and Celtics are both tied for the teams with the most NBA championships (17 each). If the Celtics are able to secure a victory among these finals it would give them an 18th banner and it would allow them to break the tie against their nemesis. However, if the Mavericks are able to secure a victory for themselves it could potentially mean many things. For example, Doncic, who is one of the greatest youngest basketball players, could win his first title at 25 years old. One way or another, a legacy will be built in these series and a win for either would be massive.

However, a turning point includes Kyrie Irving’s return to Boston as it will be a central talking point leading into the series. Irving is an elite scorer with championship-winning experience. He played for the Celtics for two seasons in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 before leaving as a free agent in 2019. Despite previously indicating his intention to re-sign, Irving ultimately departed from Boston. His actions, such as stomping on the Celtics’ iconic logo at center court and offending fans as a player for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2021 playoffs, have made him likely to be the number one villain for Celtics fans in this series. Predictions have been made for both teams, but from June 6th to possibly June 23rd, it will ultimately determine which team has earned the NBA Larry O’Brien trophy.