The atmosphere is electric at the TD Garden tonight, as the Boston Celtics battled the Dallas Mavericks for an NBA Championship. The game has been intense and physical in the first half, with players having to endure significant contact as they fight for every point. However, a heated exchange during the second quarter caught the attention of officials, leading to a whistle, and an unexpected mention by ESPN's Doris Burke that sparked excitement among fans.

In one notable instance during the second quarter, tensions rose between PJ Washington and Kristaps Porzingis. The two forwards got entangled as they were vying for position in the post which led to a moment of frustration from Washington, who ended up throwing Porzingis to the ground. The officials called a foul on the play, and although some words were exchanged afterward, it resulted in nothing more than a common foul.

Doris Burke pulling no punches on the Caitlin Clark controversy

 ESPN commentator Doris Burke looks on before game two of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden.
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Under normal circumstances, it would have been considered a routine play. However, ESPN's Doris Burke seized the moment to highlight a current hot topic in the WNBA: the treatment of Caitlin Clark by opposing players and officials.

“If that were Caitlin Clark, it might spark a debate for a week,” said Burke.

It’s funny because it’s true, Burke's unexpected remark underscored the double standards and heightened scrutiny that female athletes often endure compared to their male counterparts. Caitlin Clark, a rising star in the WNBA, has been a focal point in discussions about physicality and officiating, adding weight to Burke's comparison.

Clark has experienced her share of hard fouls since starting her rookie season with the Indiana Fever. Notably, there's been an emerging rivalry between her and Angel Reese from the Chicago Sky, stemming from their collegiate days at Iowa and LSU.

Even beyond her interactions with Reese, Clark's treatment on the court has gained widespread attention, as noted by Burke during Monday's broadcast.

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese faced each other for the second time in their professional careers on Sunday, with the Indiana Fever securing a 91-83 victory over the Chicago Sky. Reese however, caused a stir on Sunday by committing a flagrant foul against Clark, leading to intense discussions given the history of rivalry between the two players.

It was a night to remember in Boston

The Washington-Porzingis incident, although less controversial, was hardly a significant event for the Celtics on that memorable evening as they clinched their historic 18th NBA title.

The Celtics' 18th NBA title victory cements their position as the most successful franchise in history, surpassing the Los Angeles Lakers, who have 17 titles to their name.

Jayson Tatum finished with 31 points, and Finals MVP Jaylen Brown added 21 points to the scoreboard. Kyrie Irving faced a tough time against the Celtics and their passionate fan base, managing only 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting, clearly overwhelmed. Meanwhile, Luka Doncic delivered his usual performance, scoring 28 points during the game.

During the championship clash between the Celtics and Mavericks, Caitlin Clark's influence cast a significant shadow, showcasing how her presence extends beyond the WNBA's confines. Burke's comment highlighted that the ongoing discourse about equity in sports persists, even amidst the NBA Finals, with each mention contributing to the ongoing dialogue.