Mavericks vs. Celtics Game 2 NBA Finals 2024 Computer Pick: Dallas to Bounce Back

Derrick Jones Jr Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics
Derrick Jones Jr. #55 of the Dallas Mavericks shoots the ball against Kristaps Porzingis #8 of the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter in Game One of the 2024 NBA Finals. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

The Boston Celtics lead the NBA Finals 1-0 after a dominating win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1. The Celtics returned Kristaps Porzingis, who proved to be the difference, especially in the first half, when he scored 18 points off the bench. After an insane start to the postseason, we went back to the AI Model for help on Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

According to our computer predictions, the Celtics are expected to win 109-104 in Game 2 on Sunday. However, the Celtics are a seven-point favorite, meaning the value is on the Mavericks against the spread.

NBA Pick: Mavericks +7 (-110) at Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)

Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics

Sunday, June 09, 2024 – 08:00 PM ET at TD Garden

No Offense From Dallas

The Dallas Mavericks have been one of the best offenses in the NBA. However, they shot a playoff-worst 45% effective field goal percentage and only added 95.2 points per 100 possessions in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Kyrie Irving went 0-for-5 from three and scored only 12 points. Meanwhile, Luka Doncic added 30 points, but contributed just one assist. His supporting cast didn’t support him in Game 1 of the series.

But it’s probably not time to panic. It was one game. And ultimately, the Mavericks were the inexperienced team. They hadn’t been to the NBA Finals before and had to begin that journey on the road in an epic atmosphere at the TD Garden.

That said, the Celtics weren’t insane offensively either.

Boston scored 117.4 points per 100 possessions, which is above average, but nothing to go crazy over. The Celtics shot an effective field goal percentage of 57.9%, which was ultimately the difference.

After all, the Celtics still turned the ball over 14% of the time and added just 26.2% of offensive rebounds with a free throw rate of 17.6. Those are below-average numbers.

That said, the Mavericks were held to a 10 free throw rate and only recorded 25.5% of offensive rebounds. That’s significant because Dallas shot worse and would’ve had more opportunities on the glass with their misses. Yet, the Mavericks still didn’t win the rebounding battle after shooting just 41.7% from the floor.

Did Dallas Forget How To Assist?

There’s a reason why the Celtics were electric from the floor. Boston assisted on 23 baskets, while the Mavericks added only nine assists in the entire game. Luka Doncic typically records 10 assists on his own in games.

Boston only added six turnovers. But that’s probably due to the fact that Dallas didn’t pass all that much and had no chemistry for most of the game.

The Mavericks will go back to the drawing board in Game 2. They won’t come out as weak as in Game 1. At one point, the Mavericks found themselves down by 29 and pushed the deficit to single-digits in the third quarter.

Yes, the Mavericks ran out of game. But Dallas also proved that they can string together some runs too.

It’s also unlikely that Jaden Hardy outscores Kyrie Irving in another game during the playoffs. While the Celtics defended Irving very well in the game, he’s too good to be held to 12 points. After all, he’s not even considered the best player on the Mavericks. So if he’s being double-teamed, he’s got Luka to throw the ball to.

Dallas isn’t as deep as the Celtics. But they’ve got to work together better. They’ll need to communicate on defense and find each other on offense. There were too many times when the Mavericks ripped the ball into the paint despite Porzingis or other defenders sitting there waiting.

NBA Computer Pick

The Mavericks are better than how they played in Game 1. If they don’t allow the Celtics to escape to a massive early lead, they’ll have success in Game 2.

Additionally, the Mavericks have depth. It didn’t show in Game 1, but they still have multiple guys that can hold their own against the Celtics. If you take away Jaden Hardy, the Mavericks got seven points out of Maxi Kleber, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dwight Powell, Josh Green, and Dane Exum. That can’t continue in Game 2.

The bench needs to step up more. But that’s also on Irving and Doncic to include them more so these guys don’t feel the need to drive into the paint and force shots up because they’re not a part of the offense.

The Mavericks might not win the game outright, but a cover of seven points would certainly be in the cards.

Let’s ride with the AI Model and back the Mavericks at +7 and -110 NBA odds for Game 2 of this series.

NBA Pick: Mavericks +7 (-110) at Bet365

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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