With Stars and Mavs Still Alive in the Playoffs, Dallas Could Be Titletown 2024

Never have both the NBA and NHL champs come from the same city

The Dallas Stars celebrate a game-winning goal.
The Dallas Stars are through to the NHL's conference finals.
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty

When the second round of the playoffs began in the NBA and the NHL, four cities had a chance to make history by becoming the first town in history to claim both league’s champions: New York (Rangers and Knicks), Denver (Avalanche and Nuggets), Dallas (Stars and Mavericks) and Boston (Bruins and Celtics). With the third round of the NBA playoffs set to tip-off tonight before the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs begins tomorrow, there’s only one city that still has a shot to become Titletown 2024 in both pro basketball and hockey: Dallas.

American Airlines Center, the home of both the Stars and Mavs, is going to be rocking over the next few weeks as Dallas welcomes visiting fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Edmonton Oilers when they come to town to cheer for their respective teams. Of the two Dallas squads, the Stars have a better shot at advancing to the championship round and are a co-favorite to win it all at +225. The Mavs will have their work cut out for them to get past the T-Wolves, and winning the next round — where the title-favorite Boston Celtics should be waiting — might be too much to ask. Oddsmakers certainly think so, as the Mavericks are +500 to win the title.

If the Stars and Mavs are able to defy the odds and win championships in their respective leagues, Dallas will have claim to two titles at the same time and can even make a questionable claim on a third as the Texas Rangers, who play about a half-hour away in Arlington, are the reigning World Series champs. To complete the sports superfecta, the Cowboys would have to deliver their first Super Bowl since the 1995 NFL season, and they’re listed at +1700 to do so.

As for the non-Dallas teams who are left in the NBA and NHL playoffs — the Pacers, Panthers, Rangers and aforementioned Oilers, Celtics and Timberwolves — here’s a little water cooler material about each.

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New York Rangers: Knocked out by the Panthers in the third round last season, the Rangers are looking for revenge on the way to the first Cup since 1994 when they held up their end of a bid to make New York a two-sport Titletown (the Knicks came up short). History is not exactly on their side, as the Rangers are trying to become the first Presidents’ Trophy winner (best regular-season record) to hoist the Stanley Cup since the Blackhawks in 2013. Last year’s Presidents’ Trophy winners, the Boston Bruins, were bounced out of the playoffs by, you guessed it, the Panthers.

Florida Panthers: Unlike the Oilers (five titles), Rangers (four) and Stars (one), the Panthers have never won the Stanley Cup. They had a chance last year after making a run as a No. 8 seed all the way to the finals but were unable to take care of a Las Vegas Golden Knights team also seeking its first Cup. As the second-youngest head coach in history at 28 when he took over the Hartford Whalers in 1996, 57-year-old Panthers coach Paul Maurice has coached the second-most regular-season games in NHL history (1,849 over 26 seasons), by far the most games for a coach without a Stanley Cup win. If Maurice gets his championship, the Panthers will be the first team since the 2009 Penguins to win the title the season after losing in the Cup Final.

Edmonton Oilers: A playoff team for five straight seasons, the Oilers have yet to advance past the conference finals, and it will be an upset if they do it this year against the favored Stars. Edmonton certainly has a shot to be the underdog that has its day, as the Oilers have the four players with the most points this postseason: Leon Draisaitl (24), Connor McDavid (21), Evan Bouchard (20) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (16).

Indiana Pacers: Winners of multiple playoff series for the first time in a decade, the Pacers are looking to get back to the NBA Finals, a place they haven’t been since Reggie Miller was on the team and Larry Bird was behind the bench coaching. Founded in 1967 as members of the American Basketball Association where they won three championships, the Pacers have never won an NBA title. Only nine other active NBA teams (Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz) can make the same claim.

Boston Celtics: Unlike the Pacers, the Celtics have won plenty of NBA titles and are tied with the Lakers for the most in league history with 17. Boston was the betting favorite entering the season to capture their 18th banner, and that has not changed. The Celtics, who had the best record in the NBA by a wide margin and clinched a playoff spot in the middle of March, had an easy road to get to the third round as they played the Miami Heat (without Jimmy Butler) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (without Donovan Mitchell for two games). Boston has made the playoffs for 10 straight seasons but has only advanced past the conference finals once. On paper, the Pacers should make it easy to make that twice.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Though the Timberwolves boast Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, Sixth Man of the Year Naz Reid and former Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns, the star power in Minnesota is generated by 22-year-old Anthony Edwards, who is somehow already in his fourth NBA season. If Edwards can get the T-Wolves past the Mavs, it’ll be Minnesota’s first-ever trip to the final round of the NBA postseason. Of the 21 regular starters used in the playoffs by the four teams left, only six have turned 30 and the Timberwolves use two of them: 36-year-old Mike Conley and 31-year-old Rudy Gobert.

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