"NBA really needed Knicks & Lakers in Finals" - Fans react to Celtics vs Mavericks Game 1 recording bizarre drop in viewership numbers

NBA: Finals-Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics
NBA community reacts to reports of low ratings for Game 1 of Celtics vs Mavericks NBA Finals

Thursday's Celtics vs Mavericks game marked a highly anticipated return to action for the NBA after a week off. While the start of the NBA Finals was a long time coming for many fans, the numbers from Game 1 saw a surprising drop in viewership compared to years past. According to Sports TV Ratings on Twitter/X, the game averaged 10.994 million viewers on ABC.

The figure marks a sharp drop from last season, where 11.58 million fans tuned in to watch Game 1 of the finals between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat. In addition, the 10.994 million viewers for Game 1 is the lowest recorded viewership for a Game 1 since the 2021 NBA Finals, which aired in July on a flexed schedule.

Excluding the two years with flexed schedules due to COVID, the 10.994 million Game 1 viewers were the lowest since the opening game of the 2007 finals.

At the same time, the account that reported the numbers for Game 1 also indicated that last year the finals had an additional 544,000 viewers from an alternate feed through ESPN2. In addition, the account also pointed out that the game peaked with over 12 million viewers.

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Despite that, the fact that the Celtics vs Mavericks game was a lopsided win for Boston saw the peak last just 15 minutes from 9-9:15 PM Eastern Time.

NBA fans were quick to weigh in on the situation, with one fan writing:

"NBA really needed the New York Knicks and or the Lakers in the Finals" - @wiseguyinsider (Twitter/X)

Others were surprised by the numbers from the Celtics vs Mavericks game:

"Kind of surprising, thought they had enough stories goin in with Kyrie returning, Lukas first finals, Celtics go for 18 would've brought in more people" - @Munkygrave (Twitter/X)
"Damn I thought they had good build and hype thought they do 12m" - @WhiteGurlsTrap (Twitter/X)

Other members of the NBA community shared different views:

"Espn fell off" - @Al_piyo (Twitter/X)
"What % of 10.994 million had $$ on the game, props. Etc.? I’m guessing 10.994 million." - @Aje0420 (Twitter/X)

Others suggested the early lead by the Celtics made the game less intriguing:

"The early blowout throws it all out of whack. Plenty of people turn the game off when they see the score." - @Tmookie (Twitter/X)
"I watched one quarter…. And didn’t miss much" - @Icebergsli6 (Twitter/X)

Some pointed out that the league's extended layoff didn't help:

"List all momentum with 10 days off. ESPN does a terrible job of building the narrative/advertising. All they wanted to talk about was Caitlin Clark and the Lakers. If I am nba, I demand better production in the next contract." - @JohnFSilver (Twitter/X)
"Nba and nhl need to stop a 9-day break before finals" - @K_ptenn (Twitter/X)

Looking at Game 1 of the Celtics vs Mavericks NBA Finals series

As many fans were quick to point out, Game 1 of the Celtics vs Mavericks series saw the Celtics jump out to an early lead. In the first quarter, Boston outscored Dallas 37-20 to take a commanding lead.

With Kristaps Porzingis back on the court, the Celtics seemed to be firing on all cylinders with the exception of Jayson Tatum, who struggled early. While the Mavericks attempted to rally in the second quarter, they headed into the half with a 21-point deficit.

In the second half of the Celtics vs Mavericks game, the two teams were nearly even, with Dallas outscoring Boston by three points. Despite the late-game push, and a 30-point night from Luka Doncic, Game 1 of the Celtics vs Mavericks series saw Boston secure a 107-89 win.

As Mavs coach Jason Kidd explained to media members after the game, the Celtics did a great job shutting them down defensively. In addition, he indicated that his team failed to move the ball and facilitate, something they will have to remedy going forward.

Dallas will look to even up the series at one game a piece on Sunday when the two teams meet for Game 2 of the NBA Finals at the TD Garden in Massachusetts. The game will be exclusively aired on ABC once again, with tip-off scheduled for 5 PM Pacific (8 PM Eastern).

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Edited by Evan Bell
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