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T-shirts outside the Garden, ranked

Fri, June 7th, 2024

The Opening Tip

  • Luka had his worst assist game in years last night 

  • Jaylen Brown dunks on everyone

  • Boston t-shirt vendors have stepped their game up/down

NBA Finals Game 2

1. The assists were the strangest part

The Mavericks played poorly last night. They were 7-27 from 3; Kyrie Irving was 6-19; the double-big Gafford-Lively combo had only 10 points; they allowed open looks for the Celtics all night.

But the weirdest part was the assist total: Nine in total and one for Luka, his lowest assist game since 05/07/2021, when he played 23 minutes. 

  • The lack of Luka assists weren’t just missed shots by teammates, either. He had only 6.5 assist opportunities; Tatum had 14. 

  • In the regular season, he averaged 14.6 assist opps per game, second in the NBA. 

In the post game, Luka explained why, very simply, in a way a basketball genius might do: 

‘They mostly play one-on-one. So that's why.’

AKA: The Celtics’ game plan is/was clearly to let Luka try to go off (he had 30 points on 26 shots) but not incorporate the role players. Solid one-on-one defense. No double teams. Others have tried this, obviously, but Boston might be the one team with the personnel to do it.

In Game 2, how many assists Luka has will probably be a sign of who won and who lost.

[READ: The Boston Celtics aced their first NBA Finals test]

2. Daily GIF: This MFer dunks on everyone

Jaylen Brown had three certified platinum moments last night: This dunk. The 3 + steal + dunk. The double block.

3. Trivia

Which of these NBA stars didn't go to college? 

Carmelo Anthony

• Dwyane Wade

• Dwight Howard

• Chris Bosh

Guess, click and see if you're right.

4. The shirts at this stand outside the Boston Garden, ranked

9.Jayson Tatum(?) Freddy mask 
8. Tatum-Bird-Pierce walking into the heavens 
7. Luka Sucks 
6. Kyrie Sucks
5. Fuck Kyrie 
4. I Fuck Like a Champ 
3. Godzingus 
2. Kyrie clown nose 
1. Certified beer-powered fuck machine

Quick hits

  • The Sam Hauser no-dip 3 was a thing of beauty. 

  • The Mavs’ leader in assists last night: Kyrie, with two

  • Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore just got Mike Bloomberg to back their mission to buy the Timberwolves. 

  • Jrue Holiday saying ‘even our white guys defend’ so casually is hilarious.

  • Here’s a good video on how effectively the Celtics targeted Luka on defense. 

  • Not sure if this stat is actually impressive or a monster reach.

Reads + Pods

  • Dan Hurley to the Lakers isn’t as risky as it sounds [The Ringer]

  • Kristaps Porzingis rained hellfire on the hapless Mavericks [Defector]

  • Twelve thoughts on the Caitlin Clark take-pocalypse [The Ringer]

  • Boston’s big Game 1 win [Bill Simmons Podcast]

That's the buzzer.
Thanks for reading the 389th edition of The Grip.