Celtics vs Mavericks: Game 4 Breakdown and Game 5 Expectations

Celtics vs Mavericks: Game 4
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I was at a friend’s house, hoping to witness a potential closeout game, but it was clear early on that the Celtics were not in top form. Coach Joe Mazzulla eventually pulled the starters, but perhaps it should have happened sooner. The starters’ performance suggested they were ready to be benched much earlier.

Celtics vs Mavericks: Game 4 – Lack of Effort and Execution

Throughout the game, it was evident that the Celtics lacked the necessary effort and execution. It’s one thing to not shoot well, but to lose by 30 points in an NBA Finals game indicates deeper issues. The team seemed to lack the urgency and drive needed to close out the series on the road.

Rebounding Woes

Rebounding was a major issue, with the Celtics being out-rebounded 29 to 13 in the first half alone. This disparity in rebounds highlighted a lack of effort and physicality, which the Mavericks capitalized on. Their 30 points in the paint and numerous second-chance opportunities were a testament to their higher energy and determination.

Defensive Struggles

Defensively, the Celtics were not up to par. The Mavericks, led by Luka Dončić, were more aggressive, which typically results in more favorable calls. While there were some missed calls by the referees, it wasn’t the reason for the loss. The Celtics needed to match the Mavericks’ physicality and intensity but failed to do so.

Mavericks’ Performance

Luka Dončić was more involved defensively than in previous games, making key plays and staying engaged throughout the game. This effort, combined with contributions from role players like P.J. Washington and Derrick Jones Jr., made a significant difference. The Mavericks’ aggressive play and successful shooting from their role players were crucial in their victory.

Role Players Stepping Up

Role players like Josh Green and Derrick Jones Jr. hitting key shots, including threes, were pivotal. When Jones Jr. nailed his first three of the series, it felt like one of those games where everything was clicking for the Mavericks.

Offensive Rebounds and Second Chances

The Celtics allowed too many offensive rebounds and second-chance points. The Mavericks exploited this by maintaining pressure and converting these opportunities into points. The Celtics’ inability to secure defensive rebounds highlighted their lack of effort and execution on both ends of the floor.

Looking Ahead to Game 5

Game 5 is crucial for the Celtics. They need to come out with the same intensity and energy that the Mavericks displayed in Game 4. The Celtics have been resilient in the playoffs, but they need to avoid putting themselves in a position where they face unnecessary pressure.

Keys to Celtics Victory

  • Effort and Physicality: The Celtics must match or exceed the Mavericks’ physicality and effort from the start.
  • Rebounding: Securing rebounds and limiting the Mavericks’ second-chance points will be crucial.
  • Defensive Intensity: Tightening up defensively and making it difficult for the Mavericks’ role players to score will be key.

Closing Out at Home

While closing out the series at home in Boston would be ideal, it’s imperative for the Celtics to approach Game 5 with a sense of urgency. A loss in Game 5 would shift the series’ momentum and increase the pressure on them. Winning in Boston is ideal, but also kind of necessary.


Credit to the Mavericks for showing pride and not getting swept at home. However, the Celtics need to regroup and bring their best in Game 5. Let’s hope they can close it out and not let the series drag on.

This AI encapsulation, Celtics vs Mavericks: Game 4 Breakdown and Game 5 Expectations, is pulled with permission from this video by Nik Land.

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