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The Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks are set to tip-off Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. Celtics guard Jrue Holiday acknowledges the daunting task of slowing down Dallas’ formidable backcourt duo, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.


As the NBA Finals approach, the Boston Celtics are preparing to face the Dallas Mavericks in what promises to be a thrilling series. Celtics guard Jrue Holiday candidly discussed the challenge of defending the Mavericks’ star backcourt of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Holiday’s Candid Comment

One-Word Response

When asked about his strategy for stopping Irving in a one-on-one matchup, Holiday offered a brutally honest one-word answer: “Pray.” This comment underscores the respect Holiday has for Irving and Doncic’s offensive prowess.

The Mavericks’ Dynamic Duo

Impressive Playoff Performance

Irving and Doncic have been sensational throughout the postseason, combining to average 51.6 points per game. Their shooting efficiency has been outstanding, with Irving posting career-best playoff shooting percentages of 48.5% from the field and 42.1% from three-point range. Doncic has been equally impressive, nearly averaging a triple-double with 28.8 points, 8.8 assists, and 9.6 rebounds per game.

Statistical Breakdown

PlayerPoints per GameField Goal %Three-Point %Assists per GameRebounds per Game
Kyrie Irving23.848.5%42.1%6.44.4
Luka Doncic28.846.7%36.9%8.89.6
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Defensive Challenges for the Celtics

Strong Defensive Backcourt

Holiday and Derrick White form one of the most stalwart defensive backcourts in the league. Their defensive skills will be crucial in attempting to contain Dallas’ explosive guards.

Admission of Difficulty

Despite their defensive prowess, Holiday admits that merely playing good defense may not be enough to stop the red-hot duo of Doncic and Irving. The challenge will require a combination of defensive strategies and perhaps a bit of luck.

Game 1 Preview

Key Matchups

  • Holiday vs. Irving: This will be a key one-on-one battle, with Holiday’s defense against Irving’s scoring ability taking center stage.
  • White vs. Doncic: Derrick White will need to bring his best defensive game to disrupt Doncic’s rhythm and limit his impact.

Team Strategies

The Celtics will need to employ a mix of defensive strategies, including double-teams, switching, and zone defenses, to keep Dallas’ backcourt in check. Effective communication and rotations will be critical to their success.

Impact on Series Outcome

How well the Celtics can contain Doncic and Irving will significantly influence the series outcome. If Boston’s defense can limit the duo’s effectiveness, it will enhance their chances of winning the championship.


As Game 1 of the NBA Finals approaches, the Celtics face the daunting task of defending one of the most potent backcourt duos in the league. Jrue Holiday’s candid admission reflects the respect and recognition of the challenge ahead. The series promises to be a battle of skill, strategy, and determination, with fans eagerly awaiting the outcome.(Superace88)