NBA Finals 2024: Who Needs to be the Mavericks’ X-Factor?

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers

The Dallas Mavericks are the hottest team in the NBA right now. They are preparing to face the loaded Boston Celtics in the 2024 NBA Finals. With that being said, there is always a couple of players each year who step up and excel as x-factors. This year’s NBA Finals will be no different. Since the Mavericks are the underdogs, it will be imperative for someone from Dallas’ supporting cast to step up and become the reliable third option behind Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. The Mavericks’ supporting cast was vital in the Western Conference Finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves. For the NBA Finals though, P.J. Washington is going to be the x-factor for Dallas.

Who Must be the Dallas Mavericks’ X-Factor? 

The Mavericks’ X-Factor: P.J. Washington

P.J. Washington has found new life in his NBA career ever since being acquired by the Mavericks at the NBA Trade Deadline. He was wasting away on the Charlotte Hornets. Now, Washington is a key three-and-D player for the Western Conference champions. Considering this, he is going to be tasked with one of the hardest jobs of his career. He will most likely be matched up with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for the majority of the series. There is simply no stopping Boston’s star duo. They will get their numbers one way or another during the NBA Finals.

However, Washington is a good enough defender to make them work for their shot and potentially frustrate them. During the regular season, Tatum logged 21 points in two different games when guarded by Washington. Once he landed in Dallas, the wing tallied numbers of 11.7 points, 6.2 total rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. P.J. Washington has truly showed his value ever since the Dallas Mavericks traded for the 2019-20 All-Rookie Team member. Now, he has a chance to step up on the biggest stage the NBA has to offer.

Dallas’ Odds 

The Dallas Mavericks come into the NBA Finals as the underdogs. Per FanDuel, they have +184 odds to win the series. They have a tall task ahead of them as the Celtics boast arguably the deepest team in the league. Their starting five is loaded with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, and Kristaps Porzingis (when healthy). However, one can also make the argument that the Mavericks have been more battle-tested. All of the Celtics’ playoff opponents so far have had a key player be sidelined by injuries. Considering all of this, the Dallas Mavericks still have their work cut out if they want to pull off the upset in this year’s NBA Finals.

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