The Celtics handled business with ease Thursday night, but that never stops the narratives from flooding in.

Boston dominated the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden. Kristaps Porzingis was the star of the night everyone else made key plays on both ends to stymie Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Tatum and Brown didn’t play poorly, but they didn’t deliver the signature performances that were expected of them. It was a point Shaquille O’Neal made on the NBA TV postgame show.

“I’m happy for Porzingis,” O’Neal said. “I’ve had the opportunity to play at this level six times. That’s the type of game you want. He’s had a lot of time off. … Didn’t do anything in the second half, but he didn’t have to. His presence returning and keeping the crowd in the game, they played excellent ball. … Listen, Game 1 is always the feel-out game. I’ve seen a lot of guys have great Game 1s and kind of disappear. Tatum and Brown didn’t have to do anything. The place was going crazy. Porzingis carried them. I disagree with you Kenny (Smith), I still need my superstars to play at a high level. I’m not going to rely on others to bring me a championship.”

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Smith interjected and noted Porzingis is just as close of a star as Tatum and Brown are. O’Neal stood firm on his take that he needs to see more out of the faces of the team, which was a talking point multiple analysts and fans had after the game.

The Celtics star duo remained locked in after the game as they prepared for the counterpunch Dallas will bring in Game 2 on Sunday.

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