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NBA Analyst Reveals How The Celtics Defended Luka Doncic In Game 1

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

 

Going into Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics were solid favorites, but there was also a feeling that the Dallas Mavericks could win thanks to their dynamic backcourt duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

But the Celtics effectively put both stars in jail on Thursday, as they powered their way to an easy 107-89 win while Doncic and Irving shot a combined 18-of-45.

While Doncic shot a decent 12-of-26 from the field, he never really got into his accustomed rhythm, and one reason why was that Boston made him play against multiple defenders on switches.

Keith Smith posted Doncic’s shooting numbers against the main defenders he faced, and one of those defenders stood out more than the others.

Per NBA tracking data, Celtics guarding Luka Doncic:

Brown: 4-for-6, 8 points, 2 turnovers
Holiday: 1-for-3, 2 points
Porzingis: 5-for-7, 13 points
Horford: 1-for-8, 2 points

Those four guarded Doncic the most in Game 1. Brown & Holiday split initial reps, the bigs on switches.

— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 7, 2024

While the Slovenia native shot well against Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis, he was 1-of-3 against Jrue Holiday and a horrendous 1-of-8 while being guarded by Al Horford.

Horford is the wily vet on this relatively young Celtics squad, and his ability to be a Swiss Army knife could very well be the difference if it ends up winning the NBA championship.

At the same time, there is a long way to go in this series, and if Dallas wins Game 2, they will steal home-court advantage and have every reason to feel good about themselves before the series heads to Texas for the following two contests.

One thing Dallas needs to do is find a legitimate third scoring option in their frontcourt, as well as find a way to get more easy baskets, especially in transition.

If they’re able to keep games close moving forward, Doncic’s ability to be deadly in crunch time could put them in position to claim the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

The post NBA Analyst Reveals How The Celtics Defended Luka Doncic In Game 1 appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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