5 things the Lakers can learn from how Boston, Dallas reached 2024 NBA Finals

The 2024 NBA Finals are set! What can the Los Angeles Lakers learn from how the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks reached the final stage?
Boston Celtics v Dallas Mavericks
Boston Celtics v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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The 2024 NBA Finals will feature two teams that the Los Angeles Lakers are unlikely to enjoy watching play. The rival Boston Celtics will attempt to win a tiebreaking 18th championship, while former Lakers trade target Kyrie Iriving will help the Dallas Mavericks compete out of the Western Conference.

As the Lakers begrudgingly bear witness to an NBA Finals that poses questions of what could've been, there will be championship qualities worth observing.

Boston and Dallas traveled entirely different paths to reach the 2024 NBA Finals. Boston finished the regular season at 64-18, dominating the Eastern Conference, going an impressive 23-7 against the West, and claiming the best record in the Association overall.

Dallas, meanwhile, entered the playoffs as the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, finishing 50-32 overall with matching records of 25-16 at home and on the road.

It's painful to know that the Lakers won just three fewer games than the Mavericks, yet bowed out in the first round. Unfortunately, those three wins were ultimately the difference between the No. 5 seed and the play-in tournament.

As Boston and Dallas prepare to do battle to crown the NBA champions, the Lakers should take this opportunity to learn from the two best teams of 2023-24.

5. Great teams create second chances

Anthony Davis finished the 2023-24 regular season at No. 1 in the NBA in second-chance points. Despite this, the Los Angeles Lakers ranked dead last in the NBA in that same statistic, reflecting how limited the team's resources were on the offensive glass.

The Lakers don't necessarily need to be among the league's elite in this area to be successful, but they must find a way to improve.

The Boston Celtics are a great example of a team that, despite shooting jump shots at an extraordinary volume, still understands the value of the offensive glass. Boston ranked 10th in the NBA in second-chance points in 2023-24.

That figure is the result of a team effort, as Luke Kornet's respectable but not elite 1.9 offensive rebounds per game gave him the team lead.

As for Dallas, the trades for PJ Washington and Daniel Gafford had a direct impact on their success on the offensive glass. The Mavericks ranked 20th in the Association in second-chance points on the season but entered the top half of the NBA after the Gafford and Washington acquisitions.

As the Lakers look for ways to make the game easier for Davis and James, adding players who can help create second chances should be a high priority.