5 things to know about the 2024 NBA Finals

 

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It’s that time of year when the Larry O’Brien Trophy is set to find another home.

After the Denver Nuggets were eliminated in the second round of last year’s NBA Finals, there will be a new champion in a matter of weeks.

Here are five things to know about this year’s NBA Finals.

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Who’s in it?

This year’s NBA Finals consists of the Boston Celtics representing the Eastern Conference and the Dallas Mavericks representing the West.

Boston went 63-19 in the regular season, the best record in the NBA, while Dallas was the No. 5 seed with their 50-32 record.

How did they get here?

The Celtics have had, to put it nicely, a cakewalk throughout this postseason. They are 12-2 in 14 postseason games, defeating the No. 8 Miami Heat, without Jimmy Butler, in five games, the fifth-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in five games and the sixth-seeded Indiana Pacers in four.

Dallas has had a much tougher road, beating the No. 4 L.A. Clippers and No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder in six games each. In the Western Conference Finals, they beat the No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves in five games, who had just beaten the reigning champs in the second round.

What’s the schedule?

The Celtics will host Games 1 and 2 on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 8 p.m. The series then moves to Dallas for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 p.m. before games 5, 6, and 7, if necessary, alternate between the two sites.

Game 5 would be June 17 at 8:30 p.m., Game 6 would be three days later at the same time, and Game 7 is currently slated for June 23 at 8 p.m.

When was the last time each team won?

The Celtics have been in the finals more recently than Dallas, making it two years ago but losing to the Golden State Warriors. However, Boston last won it all the way back in 2008. Dallas, famously, beat the Miami Heat in their first year of their Big Three in 2011, and have not made the finals since.

This is Boston’s 23rd Finals appearance in franchise history. With a win, Boston would break its tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most NBA titles, with 18. Dallas is looking for its second championship in their third appearance.

CELTICS’ KRISTAPS PORZINGIS ON TRACK TO BE READY FOR NBA FINALS AGAINST MAVERICKS

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What legacies are on the line?

Plenty. The Celtics have long been the team that everyone has been looking to win it all for several years now. However, they have not been able to get over the hump, and this is easily their best team in this era of Celtics basketball. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porziņģis (a former Mavericks star), and Al Horford are all looking for their first rings.

Meanwhile, it could also be a legacy changer for Dallas’ two main stars in Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving. Doncic is looking for his first title, while Irving (a former Celtic who is now well-hated in Boston) is going for ring number two, having also won in Cleveland in 2016 beside LeBron James.

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