The Boston Celtics have heard the noise surrounding them all season. Despite winning 64 games during the regular season, their fourth-most in team history, many have continued to doubt the Celtics' overall ability to win a championship due to their recent past of losing to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals. Well, this year's team is much different than that one, especially in terms of their experience. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have both been in this spot before. Their new additions of Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday have helped lead the charge against the Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics are now just two wins away from their 18th championship in team history.

Unlike many other teams in the league, the Celtics are beginning to prove that it isn't just one or two players that lead their team. Sure, Tatum and Brown are the two All-NBA and All-Star talents, but any one of their five starters can get hot on any given night. So far in this series against the Mavs, Brown has been their best offensive weapon. However, it was the Holiday show in Game 2.

Fresh off of his all-around great performance in Game 1, where he had 12 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, Holiday put together an iconic performance in TD Garden. In 41 minutes on Sunday night, Holiday recorded a team-high 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting, 11 rebounds, three assists, and zero turnovers.

The first game of this series saw Brown cement his spot as the early favorite for NBA Finals MVP. The second game on Sunday was Holiday's turn to show that he could become just the eighth player at 33 or older to win the Finals MVP award. Overall, this 2-0 lead for the Celtics has been built by their depth and firepower.

“That's why they are the No. 1 team in the NBA with the No. 1 record. They have a lot of great players. Basically anybody can get off,” Luka Doncic said in his postgame remarks. “Honestly, I think we didn't do a bad job defending. We took away threes. We contested more threes. And like I say, I had too many turnovers, and we missed a lot of free throws. So I think that cost us the game.”

Doncic was responsible for eight of the Mavericks' 15 total turnovers in Game 2. This proved to be one of the differentiating factors in the game, as the Celtics scored 21 points off of Dallas' 15 turnovers. Worst of all, all of these turnovers by Doncic came at very inopportune times in the game for Dallas.

The Celtics handled business on their home floor. Now, the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy will have its first-class ticket scanned as it heads to Dallas for Game 3 on Wednesday. The Mavericks are still in a position to make this series. However, a loss on their home floor would almost be a death sentence.

Currently holding a 2-0 series lead heading to Dallas, the Celtics are dominating the rankings for NBA Finals MVP.

5. Kristaps Porzingis – Boston Celtics

 Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter in game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden.
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Game 2 stats: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks | Previously ranked: No. 4

Since returning from his calf injury, Kristaps Porzingis has looked fantastic. Joe Mazzulla has utilized Porzingis off the bench in each of the first two games of the NBA Finals, yet Porzingis has looked comfortable and confident on the offensive end of the floor against the Mavericks.

Nobody on Dallas' roster can match up with Porzingis given his length and craftiness in the mid-range area. Not to mention, he has created a ton of headaches for the Mavs' offense due to his shot-blocking abilities. Porzingis entered this series as the ultimate X-factor for the Celtics in terms of winning a championship. Now, it is clear why that is.

During Game 2, Porzingis appeared to be bothered by something and was seen limping around in the second half. Fortunately, Mazzulla and the Celtics' star confirmed that there was nothing wrong after the game.

“I feel good. Feeling good. Yeah, I don’t think it’s anything serious,” Porzingis elaborated in his postgame remarks. “But we will look at it tomorrow and go from there, but all good. I’ll be good.”

Through the first two games of this series, Porzingis is now shooting 60 percent from the floor and averaging over two blocks per game. He may not put up the dazzling numbers others do for Finals MVP, but Porzingis has been the difference for the Celtics so far in this series.

4. Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) wears a wrap around his chest while warming up before game two of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden.
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Game 2 stats: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists| Previously ranked: No. 2

Luka is not 100 percent. He has been gingerly walking around and grimacing throughout the games. Still, he has been the only Mavericks player to realize that the team is in the NBA Finals. Doncic has registered back-to-back 30-point games, this time dropping 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists in Game 2's loss.

In Game 1, Doncic had just one assist. In Game 2, he ended up with 11 assists, but at the cost of eight turnovers as well.

The Mavericks now trail the Celtics 2-0 heading to Dallas for Game 3. Although he can get the Mavs trending in the right direction at any moment, one has to wonder if Doncic and his team have simply run out of gas after making the NBA Finals.

“We've got to make shots. We've got to make free throws and less turnovers,” Doncic said on Sunday night. “Those three things I think are the key for a win — to win.”

Doncic has been a one-man team at times for the Mavericks, but that style of play doesn't win four games in the NBA Finals. Although he is still in the running for Finals MVP, others are going to have to step up on the Mavs' roster in order for Doncic to rise back up these rankings.

3. Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots the ball against the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter in game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden.
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Game 2 stats: 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks | Previously ranked: No. 3

The expectations on Jayson Tatum's shoulders are unbarring at times. No matter what this guy does, it is never good enough in the eyes of NBA fans for some reason. Is it because he doesn't have a title? Well, it sure seems like that is going to change.

There really shouldn't be any scrutiny heading Tatum's way, regardless if he wins NBA Finals MVP or not, because he is always the guy who is willing to adapt. No matter what you believe, Tatum is the Celtics' best player. He is their best pure scoring weapon, and the team has always viewed him as their best talent.

As the leader of the team, Tatum has always put others ahead of himself, and that has become apparent in the playoffs with the All-NBA forward finding other ways to impact the game when Brown, Porzingis, Holiday, or someone else are taking on the burden of scoring.

Tatum has been great defensively, and he has continued to make an impact as a rebounder and primary facilitator, two areas he wasn't necessarily known for last season. While he has been the Celtics' most valuable player, his two teammates are certainly above him in terms of competing for the NBA Finals MVP award.

2. Jrue Holiday – Boston Celtics

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) dribbles the ball against Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday (4) during the first quarter in game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden.
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Game 2 stats: 26 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists | Previously ranked: Unranked

Out of all the players in the NBA, Jrue Holiday may just be the only one who always shows up in big moments and games. Better yet, he always does the little things to give his team the edge. Quite honestly, Holiday is one of the most underappreciated players in the league.

“I think when you sacrifice together and you do something together, it brings you closer. I think being able to go through wins and losses and to build something, it means a lot,” Holiday stated after his impressive Game 2 performance.” So when you go through things like that, I think it makes you closer and I think that that's what this team has done.”

Holiday had 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting, nailing two triples in the Game 2 victory for the Celtics. His 11 rebounds were the most he had recorded in a game since grabbing 12 boards against the Brooklyn Nets during the group play round of the NBA In-Season Tournament.

Everyone knows Holiday is a great defender, but his ability to break down defenses and get to the rim goes under the radar. Holiday is more than capable of being his team's leading scorer, and he showed that in Game 2. Like Tatum, Holiday has sacrificed for the greater good of the team, which has led them to success.

“From 1 to 15, somebody's sacrificed something. It's been great, and the journey's been awesome, but at the end of the day, the job is not done.”

1. Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics

 Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) dunks against the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter in game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden.
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Game 1 stats: 21 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals | Previously ranked: No. 1

At this point, it is hard to come up with an argument against Jaylen Brown being the favorite for Finals MVP. He currently leads the Celtics in scoring through two games and is tied with Holiday for the most made shots (15). The most impressive aspect of Brown's game is his defensive awareness and hustle throughout this Finals series.

Whether it is against Kyrie Irving or Luka Doncic, Brown has truly been a lockdown defender. There was one play in particular from Game 2 where Brown did not allow Irving an inch of room in the corner, ultimately leading to a travel. So far, that has been the defining moment of the series for Brown in terms of potentially winning the NBA Finals MVP.

While his three-point shot may not be falling, Brown is shooting 55.6 percent from the floor against the Mavs. He is also getting to the free-throw line and playing aggressively on offensive.

Consistency is what voters look for in the NBA Finals MVP. Brown has been the Celtics' best scorer, he has held them together when the game is close, and he has been excellent as a primary defender on Irving. What more do we need to see in order to call Brown the best player in this series thus far?