Jrue Holiday Reveals Hilarious Factor In Celtics’ Dominant Defense

Jrue Holiday, Boston Celtics, NBA News, Dallas Mavericks
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics dominated in Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals, achieving a 107-89 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.

As a result of the victory, the Celtics took a 1-0 series victory, which, based on historical data, provides them a 70.1 percent chance of winning the series. Teams that have won Game 1 at home have won the NBA Finals at a 78.0% rate.

An early shotmaking flurry created separation, but the Celtics put together a stifling defensive performance. Luka Doncic finished with 30 points but took 26 shots. Kyrie Irving was contained to only 12 points while shooting 6 of 19 and missing all five of his 3-point attempts.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jrue Holiday, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks Updates

Holiday highlighted the depth of on-ball defensive options led by himself, Jaylen Brown, and Derrick White to throw at Doncic and Kyrie Irving, making them work for a full 48 minutes, along with the rest of the roster being willing to guard with physicality.

“I think it helps a lot,” Holiday said. “Throwing different guys at him. Different guys that play defense differently. Some aggressive, some not. I think even our white guys guard. Hopefully it’s a challenge on him and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jrue Holiday, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks Updates

The Celtics could guard straight up instead of having to send help, enabling them to stay home on shooters in the corner and to prevent the Mavericks’ bigs from getting clean opportunities to catch and finish in the paint as play finishers. With Kristaps Porzingis back from injury, there was rim protection on the backline to make it all the more impactful.

“They mostly play one-on-one,” Doncic said. “They didn’t send a lot of help. So that’s why.”

The Mavericks have their work cut out to bounce back in Game 2. Boston will look to continue to lean on the successful identity established in the future to take control of the series.

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