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What does NBA history say about the Mavs title chances after game 1 and 2 losses



The Dallas Mavericks dropped the first two games of the 2024 NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics and NBA history says it’s unlikely they’ll win the series.

There have been 36 instances in finals history of a team trailing 0-2 to start the series and only five teams have ever come back and won the finals.

Those teams are the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks, 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, 2006 Miami Heat, 1977 Portland Trailblazers and 1969 Boston Celtics.

The two series that appear most applicable to the Mavs are the Cavs and Bucks.

The 2016 Cavs went down 2-0 and even trailed 3-1 in their series against a Golden State Warriors team that had set the NBA regular season record for most wins in a season. It took LeBron James and Kyrie Irving putting together one of the best three-game stretches in league history for the Cavs to come out victorious in what many call the greatest comeback in NBA Playoff history.

Current Boston Celtics star Jrue Holiday averaged 16.7 points, 9.2 assists and 6.2 rebounds as a member of the Bucks to help them win four straight games over the Phoneix Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals. Giannis Anketoumpo would win Finals MVP after tying the NBA record with 50 points in Buck’s closeout game seven win.

The Cavs and Bucks rallied in their respective series by not only having the best player on the court but also getting contributions from secondary stars and role players.

Can the Mavs copy this strategy?

Luka Doncic has been perhaps the best player in the series through the first two games with the most points, rebounds and second most assists through the first two games. Doncic hasn’t gotten much assistance from running mate Kyrie Irving who has only scored 14 points with 4.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds.

However, Irving has experience making these types of comebacks in the Finals and has been known to play his best in the most critical moments.

The other Mavs have struggled, especially from behind the arc, combing for 5-of-32 shooting with no Dallas player outside of Doncic having multiple three-point makes yet.

Dallas will need Irving to rediscover his previous form and for a role player like PJ Washington or Derrick Jones Jr to get hot from the field if they want to become the sixth team to come back from a 2-0 finals deficit.

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