Two Arizona Wildcats competing for an NBA Finals title with the Dallas Mavericks

Former Arizona Basketball guards Brandon Williams and Josh Green are competing in the 2024 NBA Finals with the Dallas Mavericks against the Boston Celtics.
Dallas Mavericks v Charlotte Hornets
Dallas Mavericks v Charlotte Hornets / David Jensen/GettyImages

On Thursday, June 6, Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics tipped off and ended in a 107-89 win by the Celtics.

Although there are no geographical or historical ties between either team and the state of Arizona, the city of Tucson will be pulling for the Dallas Mavericks, who are rostering not one, but two former Arizona Basketball players in their pursuits of the Larry O'Brien Trophy: guards Brandon Williams and Josh Green.

How did Williams and Green end up with the Mavs?

Williams, who went undrafted following the 2020-21 NCAA basketball season, signed with the G League's Westchester Knicks for his first pro season before the Portland Trail Blazers called him up. He bounced around in the G League before landing with the Mavericks on a two-way contract ahead of the 2023-24 season.

Green's path to Dallas was more straightforward. He was drafted in the first round, 18th overall, by the Mavericks in the 2020 NBA Draft. He has remained an occasional contributor over his four seasons in the professional ranks.

How have their seasons looked?

Williams has mostly stayed quiet this season, only averaging 3.2 points, one assist, and 0.8 rebounds per game. Though he hasn't seen any time since mid-April, showing against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the regular season finale was promising: 30 minutes, 22 points, 38.1% from the field, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. If the Mavericks need to turn to someone deep in the bench, Williams certainly wouldn't be the worst option.

Green is in the rotation more consistently this season, averaging 8.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while shooting 47.1% from the floor. He's played in every postseason game, and has grabbed at least four rebounds in at least one game in each series so far. Most recently, he logged 6 rebounds, 5 points, 2 steals, and an assist in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

How did Game 1 go?

Game 1 was a slog for the Mavs, who lost by 18 points on the road. Williams didn't see the court at all, but Green did, and he contributed 3 points and three rebounds in 20 minutes on the floor. However, it was a generally rough outing for everybody suiting up in blue aside from Luka Doncic, who logged a 30-point, 10-rebound double-double.

The NBA Finals will be back in action for Game 2 in Dallas on Sunday, June 9, at 5:00 p.m.

Projecting Arizona Basketball's starting five for the 2024-25 season. dark. ICYMI. Starting5

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