Trending Updates: Duke in the NBA Finals: Tatum adapts while Irving and Lively struggle to find footing…

As the NBA season reaches its climax, three former Blue Devils are vying for the championship. Here’s a breakdown of their performances:

Tatum’s Facilitating Effort Helps Celtics Dominate Early

Jayson Tatum has shown his growth as an all-around player in the first two games of the NBA Finals. In 2022, he often forced contested shots and turned the ball over frequently. This year, despite a subpar 29% shooting from deep, Tatum has excelled in playmaking, averaging 8.5 assists per game. His scoring struggles are partly due to Dallas’ defense, which heavily focuses on him. As the Mavericks may adjust, Tatum is poised to enhance his scoring to complement his playmaking.

Irving Faces Shooting Woes, Looks to Bounce Back

Kyrie Irving has struggled in the NBA Finals, failing to make a three-pointer and averaging 14 points on 35% shooting. His passing has also been lackluster, with only eight assists in the first two games. Boston’s defensive pressure has forced Irving into difficult situations. The Mavericks need him to be a top performer in the upcoming games, especially given his finals experience and ability to turn games around quickly. A strong performance in game three is crucial for Dallas.

<p>Former Blue Devil guard Kyrie Irving will look to turn things around for the Mavericks in game three.</p>

Lively’s Inexperience Shows

Dereck Lively II, while not as central as Tatum or Irving, has shown his rookie status in the Finals. He has scored four points and committed four turnovers in the first two games. His primary impact has been in rebounding, with seven in game two. The Celtics have neutralized him as a lob threat, challenging Luka Doncic to create plays under pressure. Returning to Dallas, Lively will aim to improve and leverage the home-court advantage.

As the Finals progress, the performances of these former Blue Devils will be pivotal for their teams.

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