The NBA Finals: Preview, How to Watch Mavericks vs. Celtics Game 1

The Dallas Mavericks will appear in The NBA Finals for the first time since winning a championship in 2011, while the Boston Celtics will look to start fast and claim a league-leading title No. 18.
Mar 1, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) makes the basket against Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber (42) and guard Luka Doncic (77) in the second half at TD Garden.
Mar 1, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) makes the basket against Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber (42) and guard Luka Doncic (77) in the second half at TD Garden. / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest series of the playoffs is officially underway.

Thursday evening, the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks will meet at TD Garden for Game 1 of The NBA Finals, both looking to take an early series lead and get one game closer to the coveted Larry O'Brien trophy. For Dallas, the series is a chance to prove that not only do Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving work well together, but they're capable of taking a squad all the way.

For the Celtics? It's about putting a long-time criticism of Jayson Tatum to rest.

Jun 5, 2024; Boston, MA, USA;  Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the NBA Finals Media Day at TD Garden.
Jun 5, 2024; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the NBA Finals Media Day at TD Garden. / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since the Boston star has begun to climb the ranks of the NBA's top talents, Tatum's biggest downfall has been his seemingly lacking ability to lead a team in the playoffs. Sure, he gets them there — the Celtics have made the postseason in every year of his tenure — but he's yet to win it all.

Doncic has yet to lead the Mavericks to a title, either, so whichever way the series falls will see a new star with a ring. That should make for an exciting series.

The San Antonio Spurs might not be suiting up this year, but there are certainly things they can take away from watching two elite teams compete for a trophy.

That being said, here is everything you need to know for Mavericks vs. Celtics Game 1:


General Info, How to Watch

  • Date: Thursday, June 6
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. CT
  • TV Channel: ESPN on ABC
  • Live Stream: DirecTV Stream, Fubo, YouTube TV
  • Betting Odds via SI Sportsbook 
  • Spread: Celtics -6.5
  • TOTAL: 217.5
  • Money Line: Celtics -250, Mavericks +190

Mavericks vs. Celtics Injury Report

Dallas Mavericks

  • PG Luka Doncic - PROBABLE (knee, ankle)
  • F Olivier-Maxence Prosper - QUESTIONABLE (left ankle)

Boston Celtics

  • N/A

Biggest Storyline(s) to Watch

A three-way tie in the Western Conference for the No. 1 seed seemed to confirm the fact that the West was more competitive than the East. Competitive and difficult are similar, yet still different terms, but it is a fact that there was more disparity in the two conferences' standings.

What can't be said with certainty, however, is how "easy" Boston had it. The Celtics did have a simple path to the NBA Finals, going through a Miami Heat team without Jimmy Butler, a Cleveland Cavaliers squad without Donovan Mitchell and then an Indiana Pacers squad sans Tyrese Haliburton, but it wasn't something they could have controlled.

Boston will be facing arguably the toughest team it's faced thus far with Irving and Doncic, so if the Mavericks are able to remain healthy, they could settle the score for Boston — or simply prove their own strength with a title themselves.

East vs. West has always been a debate.

These two teams will certainly shed more light on it.


Published
Matt Guzman

MATT GUZMAN

Matt Guzman is a sports journalist and storyteller from Austin, Texas. He serves as a credentialed reporter and site manager for San Antonio Spurs On SI and a staff writer for multiple collegiate sites in the same network. In the world of professional sports, he is a firm believer that athletes are people, too, and intends to tell stories of players and teams’ true, behind-the-scenes character that otherwise would not be seen through strong narrative writing, hooking ledes and passionate words.