Mavs Shutdown By Celtics, Jrue Holiday: 'Even Our White Guys Guard'

The Boston Celtics won Game 1 of the 2024 NBA finals 107-89, as they held the Dallas Mavericks to their worst offensive showing of the playoffs so far. When talking about the team's defensive strategy, as it pertains to guarding Luka Doncic 1-on-1, Celtics guard Jrue Holiday said it was a group effort.

"I think it helps a lot, throwing different guys at him," Holiday said. "Different guys that play defense differently. Some aggressive, some not, but I think even our white guys guard. Hopefully, it's a challenge on him and hopefully, we can continue to do that."

That is to say, Holiday, who is a 3x NBA All-Defensive First Team selection, wasn't referring to Celtics player Derrick "White," but rather the likes of white boys Payton Pritchard and Sam Houser.

Without a doubt, Boston had one of the best defenses in the league this year, giving up the third-least amount of points (107.9), including regular season and playoffs, on the third-lowest opponent field goal percentage (45.5%).

In view of their defensive prowess, in last night's victory, the Celtics ended the game with the same amount of blocks that the Mavs had assists.

Kyrie Irving (12 points, 2 assists) was the only player on the Mavs roster that had at least two assists, while Luka Doncic (30 points), who averaged the second most assists per game in the NBA this season (9.8), had a career low, one assist in Game 1.

Although it was nice for Holiday to give credit to his white teammates, he himself is the difference-making perimeter defender that will have to continue holding Luka in check all series long.

Former Celtics legend Larry Bird once said, "The one thing that always bothered me when I played in the NBA was I really got irritated when they put a white guy on me," Bird added. "Because it's disrespect to my game."