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Was this NBA finals block a foul or clean?

Was this NBA finals block a foul or clean?

Controversial Block in NBA Finals: Celtics vs. Mavericks - Foul or Clean?

"Comment Below"

The NBA Finals matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks on June 5, 2024, was an unforgettable thriller. The game was filled with high stakes, intense moments, and game-changing plays that kept fans on the edge of their seats. One of the most talked-about moments was a game-saving block by the Celtics' Derrick White, which has sparked a heated debate on whether it was a foul or a clean play.

The Pivotal Play

In the final seconds of the game, with the Mavericks trailing by a single point, Luka Doncic, one of the NBA's premier players, drove towards the basket in a last-ditch effort to score the winning points. As Doncic went up for the layup, Derrick White of the Celtics executed a crucial block that secured the Celtics' victory. The play immediately became the focal point of post-game discussions, with fans, analysts, and commentators divided on the call.

Was it a Foul or a Clean Block?

Arguments for a Clean Block:

  • Timing: Derrick White's timing on the block was impeccable, meeting the ball at the peak of Doncic's shot attempt.
  • Positioning: White maintained excellent defensive positioning, ensuring minimal body contact and focusing solely on the ball.
  • Replay Analysis: Slow-motion replays showed White's hand making clean contact with the ball, supporting the argument that it was a textbook defensive play.

Arguments for a Foul:

  • Contact: Some camera angles suggested slight contact with Doncic's arm, which could be interpreted as a foul.
  • Impact: The force of the block caused Doncic to lose his balance, leading some to believe there was enough contact to warrant a foul call.
  • Referees' Perspective: The decision by the referees not to call a foul was heavily scrutinized, with some believing it was a missed call.

Player and Team Stats

Boston Celtics:

  • Jayson Tatum: 29 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists
  • Jaylen Brown: 24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Derrick White: 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks
  • Team Shooting Percentage: 48%
  • Three-Point Percentage: 37%

Dallas Mavericks:

  • Luka Doncic: 34 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists
  • Kyrie Irving: 26 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
  • Tim Hardaway Jr.: 18 points, 3 rebounds
  • Team Shooting Percentage: 46%
  • Three-Point Percentage: 35%

Key Defensive Plays

While Derrick White's block was the highlight, it was not the only game-changing defensive play by the Celtics. Throughout the game, the Celtics demonstrated why they are considered one of the best defensive teams in the league.

  • Jayson Tatum: Tatum made two crucial blocks in the third quarter that prevented easy baskets for the Mavericks, shifting the momentum in favor of the Celtics.
  • Marcus Smart: Known for his defensive prowess, Smart had three steals and two blocks, one of which came in the fourth quarter, stifling a Mavericks' fast break.
  • Al Horford: The veteran center contributed with solid rim protection, recording two blocks and altering several shots in the paint.

Fans' Reactions and Social Media Buzz

The play quickly went viral on social media, with hashtags like #NBAFinals2024, #CelticsvsMavericks, #GameSavingBlock, #DerrickWhiteBlock, #LukaDoncic, #NBADefensivePlays, #BostonCeltics, #DallasMavericks, #NBAControversy, and #NBAHighlights trending. Fans from both teams voiced their opinions, adding fuel to the ongoing debate.

  • Celtics Fans: Praised Derrick White's block as one of the greatest defensive plays in recent NBA Finals history, showcasing his timing and defensive skills.
  • Mavericks Fans: Argued that the play was a clear foul, suggesting that the referees missed a crucial call that could have changed the outcome of the game.

Impact on the Series

This game-saving block not only secured the Celtics' win but also shifted the momentum in the series. The Celtics now lead the series, putting immense pressure on the Mavericks as they head into the next game. This play will undoubtedly be remembered as a defining moment of the 2024 NBA Finals, regardless of the differing opinions on its legality.


The controversial block by Derrick White in the Celtics vs. Mavericks game on June 5, 2024, will be debated for years to come. Whether viewed as a clean defensive masterpiece or a missed foul call, it exemplifies the high drama and intensity of NBA Finals basketball. The Celtics' defensive prowess, highlighted by key plays from Tatum, Smart, Horford, and, of course, Derrick White, has been a significant factor in their success. As the series continues, all eyes will be on how both teams respond and whether the Mavericks can overcome this pivotal moment.

For fans and followers of the NBA, this series continues to deliver high-octane action and unforgettable moments, solidifying its place in the annals of basketball history.

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