3 underrated things to watch for in the 2024 NBA Finals

Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages
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1) Crunch-time execution

Crunch time is the last five minutes of regulation or overtime when the score is within five points or less. The crowd is pumping, nerves settle in, the lights become bright, and someone will have to make a play. The Mavericks, without question, have the best closers in Donic and Kyrie Irving; they aren’t afraid of the moment and have hit timely buckets. Donic hit a game-winner in game four of the Western Conference finals over Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

Irving has one of the biggest shots in NBA history with a stepback three over Steph Curry in game seven of the 2016  NBA finals.

Tatum and Brown have had plenty of playoff experience and have hit big shots themselves; Brown hit a game-tying three against the Pacers in game one of the Eastern Conference finals. Tatum is 5/11 in game-tying or go-ahead buckets in the final minute and hit a game-winner in the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs over Kyrie Irving.

This feels like a series that can come down to the final possession in most games. The mental toughness and “clutchness” of each of these superstars could be the difference in winning or going home.