🏀 Role Players Are Better At Home

The NBA Finals return to Dallas after a 13-year hiatus, with the Mavericks trailing 0-2. Tatum and co. look to keep up a suffocating offense and defense, but may do so without Kristaps Porzingis. Can Luka and Kyrie make this series a little more interesting? They say role players are better at home 👀 (2 min read)

A Deficit as Old as Time

This year’s NBA Finals has gotten off to a predictable start, even if we don’t want to admit it. The team that steamrolled through the league, en route to 64 wins, has left its imprint through two games. Boston’s five out offense, with capable, two-way playmakers across its roster, has generated far easier shots than every other team in the league, including Dallas. But to reprise the old saying: It’s not a series until the road team wins. The Finals returns to American Airlines Center tonight 💪

While the player discourse has focused on Tatum and his scoring/efficiency struggles, Kyrie has been the main under-performer across either team so far 😢

  • Boston has the ideal roster to play not only Irving, but Doncic as well, in single coverage. Their combo guards are big and long, with enough lateral quickness and recovery instincts to hold up in isolation situations

  • Irving through two games has shot 13-37, going 0-8 from downtown, to go along with six fouls and five turnovers. Doncic and the Mavs need some sort of scoring punch from Irving, regardless of their role player performances

This series will be over in four if Dallas’ shooting variance does not bounce back at home. The Mavs have gone 13-53 from deep to open up the first two games of the Finals after averaging a little over 12 made threes per game throughout the playoffs 👀

  • Sure, Luka has been off to a hot start offensively, but he’s the only Dallas player who has been able to consistently score against this Boston defense

  • Even the quality of both team’s offense has been vastly different: Boston generated 34 spot-up opportunities in Game 1 to Dallas’ 12. Don’t be surprised if Tim Hardaway gets some burn tonight if the Mavericks continue to flounder offensively

At the moment, the primary concern for Celtics fans is health-related. Kristaps Porzingis suffered what Shams reported as “a torn medial retinaculum” 🩹

  • While I’m unsure what that means, it cannot be good. It is still unclear whether or not Porzingis will play Game 3

  • Teams like to hold all their cards to the chest during the playoffs, so we may not find out about KP’s status until tip-off is closer on the horizon. But Boston is definitely in a position where they can sit the big Latvian for Game 3 and not sweat too much

  • Spread: Mavs -2.5

  • Moneyline: Mavs -142, Celtics +120

  • Over/Under: 212.5 Total Points

  • When: 8:30PM EST on ABC

As an added bonus, here’s a great excerpt from Joe Mazzulla’s last presser 👇

Trivia Question: Teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals are 31-5 all time. When was the last time a championship squad overcame this deficit?

For My Parlay Gurus

After watching the first two games of the series, it’s hard to bet on anyone but the Celtics. To put it simply — Boston generates far better offensive looks than Dallas, while simultaneously boasting an elite defense. Still, the return home should be good for not only Kyrie, but all Mavs role players. A doubtful Porzingis doesn’t hurt either. Give me the Dallas moneyline and (deep breath), Kyrie’s over on points. Check it out 👇

  • Mavs ML vs Celtics: -142

  • Kyrie Irving Over 23.5 Total Points: -108

$100 on this bet would win you $176 — if we hit, make sure you email [email protected] for a chance to win an Overtime hoodie*. Many will enter, only some will win 😉

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Trivia Answer: During the 2021 Finals, Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks fell into an 0-2 hole before rattling off four straight to win it all. The Greak Freak had 50 pts and 14 reb in the close-out game, while Jrue Holiday played an integral role on that team

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