Celtics' Sam Hauser and Mavericks' Dante Exum ignite Finals fever, revealing keys to Game 1

    Tension increases as tip-off time for the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks approaches. A few hours before seeing each other face to face on the court, Sam Hauser and Dante Exum spoke with about what they expect and what their preparation has been like for the first game of the final series.

    Celtics forward Sam Hauser said he couldn’t wait for the series to begin. He recalled that two years ago, he was part of the team that lost the final series to the Golden State Warriors.

    Despite being one of the survivors of that defeat, Hauser said he feels more integrated into the team now, “which is pretty cool, and hopefully, tomorrow will be a very special day. So, it will be fun.”

    He explained that after nine days of inactivity, after they played their last game of the series against the Indiana Pacers on May 27, he could not wait for the tip-off. “Tomorrow, we finally get to play again, so I’m just looking forward to getting it going here,” he said.

    “We competed a little bit this week. Obviously, we wanted to stay fresh, stay in rhythm, so we did a little bit of that this week,” Hauser indicated. He said the team hopes to get into the game’s tempo as soon as possible in the first match and reiterated they are ready for the action to begin.

    The secret of the Mavs, according to Exum

    Exum said he is ready to jump right into the first game of the finals. However, the Mavericks shooting guard admitted that after spending two years in European basketball following his departure from the Houston Rockets, reaching a final feels “surreal.”

    He indicated that the Mavericks owe their success this season to finally discovering the team’s identity. Exum explained that after the negotiation deadline, the board found all the pieces they needed and managed to integrate them into the team’s scheme.

    He considered that this was the key moment for the team. “I think our identity became clear and who we had to be, to be successful. And everyone got on board into that,” said the ten-season veteran.

    He admitted being the on-court backup for star Luka Doncic is not easy. However, he said that the most important thing is to enter into the role the coach assigns them and be aware of the needs of his team. This brought them to the finals, highlighted Exum, and now they have their sights set on the championship.

    The Dallas Mavericks will visit the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, to face the Celtics in the first game of the NBA Finals. The game will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET (5:30 PT).

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