Celtics-Wolves is the best possible 2024 NBA Finals matchup. Here's why

It's Boston vs. Indiana and Minnesota vs. Dallas to reach the ultimate stage.

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Four teams are four wins away from a chance at glory.

The top-seeded Boston Celtics were the first team to reach the conference finals after eliminating the No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers in five games.

Next came the No. 5 Dallas Mavericks out West, who took down the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in six games.

A pair of Game 7s then decided the last two teams. The No. 6 Indiana Pacers blew out the No. 2 New York Knicks first before the No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves staged a tremendous comeback to top the second-seeded defending champion Denver Nuggets.

So, which matchup of the four possible should be manifested for the 2024 NBA Finals? Let's rank them from least to most intriguing:

4. Indiana Pacers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

No, the two lowest seeded units don't form the worst possible matchup. If Indiana pulled off an upset over Boston, it'd then have to face another elite defense in Minnesota. The Timberwolves ranked first in regular-season defensive rating and have exemplified why in the playoffs, eventually taking down Nikola Jokic and Co.

It'd take a valiant effort from Pascal Siakam, Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner, among others, to drop four games good enough to win a series over Minnesota without Bennedict Mathurin's extra offensive output. Minnesota, meanwhile, would have the better quality in this series with Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert leading the way.

3. Indiana Pacers vs. Dallas Mavericks

Things would get a little more even for Indiana should it meet Dallas in the finals. Indiana won both regular-season matchups by lopsided scores, the first being 133-111 on Feb. 25 and the second 137-120 on March 5. But it'd be more interesting to see how things pan out now that both teams are a little different since then.

In Dallas' perspective, Luka Doncic finally has a stronger supporting cast beside him in Dereck Lively II, P.J. Washington and Derrick Jones Jr., among other names not counting Kyrie Irving. Both teams have starpower who can trade blows while Indiana possesses more role players who can get their own. It could go either way, though the overall quality is what lacks.

2. Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks

There's no doubt the Celtics are the best team left given their regular-season form and how they've dispatched teams in short playoff series, so they occupy spots in the top-two possible matchups. It'd be the glamorous combination of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis, if healthy, against Doncic, Irving and Co.

The Celtics likely would be favored in this scenario given they also handled Dallas comfortably in both regular-season battles, though the collective starpower here is better than what an Indiana series could provide, respectively.

1. Boston Celtics vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

The best possible matchup would have to be Boston and Minnesota. With Jokic and the Nuggets out, both the Celtics and Timberwolves would battle with the best defenses in the league headlined by Edwards and Tatum as the key pieces.

Boston possesses the better top-end talent while Minnesota is more deeper thanks to having players like Naz Reid, Jaden McDaniels, Nickeil-Alexander Walker and more. This one could also go either way but the quality on both teams makes it the most riveting, especially since the Timberwolves would be the Celtics' toughest playoff series.

Can the Celtics put out Minnesota's rising flame for Banner No. 18 or can the Wolves win their first NBA championship against the most star-studded team in the league? That's a compelling watch.

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