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The Dallas Mavericks will try to solve their Game 1 woes on Sunday night against the Boston Celtics. Can Dereck Lively step up as the missing piece in Game 2 of the NBA Finals? Ben Rajavuori brings us his best bet in Mavericks vs. Celtics.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics Best Bet: Can Dereck Lively, Mavs Bounce Back in NBA Finals Game 2?

The Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics meet in Game 2 of the NBA finals tonight from the TD Garden. The Celtics played about as perfect as they possibly could in Game 1, winning 107–89 and blowing out the Mavericks. Many things went right for the Celtics in Game 1, but I do not expect the Mavericks to lie down and take it in Game 2 and into the rest of the series.


  • Date: June 9, 2024
  • Start Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: ABC

Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics Game 2 Prediction

Many players for the Mavericks dropped the ball in Game 1, but none more than Derek Lively. Although it seems like putting too much pressure on the shoulders of a rookie, Lively had a lot of hype coming into the series after playing an impactful role against the Timberwolves. He doesn’t stuff the stat sheet, but he brings a certain energy to the Mavericks when he’s on the court and makes big plays that don’t always show on the box score. Despite being a bench player, he averaged 9.5 points in the series against Minnesota and shot 100% from the field, taking smart shots and getting some lob plays from Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving for electric dunks. We didn’t get to see much of that in Game 1 of the finals, as Lively ran into some foul trouble early. Lively only ended up playing 18 minutes in Game 1 because he got into foul trouble early and ended up getting to five in the second half. He only ended up taking one shot and finished with two points, but he also grabbed five rebounds in those 18 minutes. Because he was in foul trouble, he was also not able to be as aggressive, which is ultimately the reason Gafford got more minutes than usual in Game 1. For Game 2, I expect him to be a bit more careful, stay out of foul trouble, and be able to bounce back.

In Game 1, Derek Lively was set at 16.5 points + rebounds + assists. He finished with just eight, and now his line has dropped a 14.5. I think this is an overreaction to Game 1, as Lively had to play much differently after getting into foul trouble early and eventually only being able to play only 18 minutes. He still played a big role for the Mavericks in the playoffs and should play into the mid to high 20's of minutes as he did for every game of the conference finals when he was healthy. The rookie has shown up for the Mavericks in this playoffs, and I still think he’s much better than the starter, Daniel Gafford. Play Lively to bounce back in Game 2 and put on another big performance with some big dunks and a lot of rebounds and clear this discounted line.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics Best Bet

Pick: Dereck Lively Over 14.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (-110) CLICK HERE TO SEE WHICH SPORTSBOOK HAS THE BEST ODDS


Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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