Who Golden State Warriors' fans should be cheering for in the NBA Finals

Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

With no former players to root for or against in the NBA Finals, it may not be so obvious as to who Golden State Warriors fans should be cheering for when the Boston Celtics host the Dallas Mavericks for Game 1 on Thursday night.

Regardless of which way the result goes, Warrior fans should be viewing this through the lens of how their team can get better, and therefore how the success of the Celtics and Mavericks may provide a blueprint on how they can return to the pointy end of the playoffs.

A Dallas Mavericks title would further vindicate their trade for a second star, something the Golden State Warriors need to do this off-season

We know the Mavericks, who have searched through three straight rounds despite entering the playoffs as the fifth seed, already provide a comparative standpoint after they finished 11th in the Western Conference last season.

The Warriors will look to emulate a similar rise next season, though their hopes will likely decide on taking a similar level of necessary risk as the Mavericks have in the past 18 months. Many are looking at the acquisitions of Daniel Gafford and PJ Washington at the midseason trade deadline as the pivotal factors in Dallas ascension, along with the off-season drafting of Dereck Lively II and free agency signing of Derek Jones Jr.

In reality, those four pieces work because of two men -- the Mavericks' star back court. Without the perilous move to bring in a previously unreliable star in Kyrie Irving, Dallas almost certainly isn't in this position.

If Luka Dončić, Irving and company can go on to complete an extraordinary championship victory, it would further vindicate the trade for a second star, as hazardous and uncertain as that star may have been seen at the time.

The Celtics have their own star pair in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, yet the franchise was fortunate to draft the wing duo in back-to-back years, much in the same way the Warriors were fortunate to draft Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the space of three years over a decade ago.

But if you're a Golden State fan unsure of who to support in the NBA finals, just remember that this offseason the Warriors should be looking to find an Irving to their Dončić -- a secondary star to complement and support Stephen Curry. Perhaps a Mavericks championship would be the tonic for Mike Dunleavy Jr. and the Warrior front office to take the risk and make that happen.