We are just days out from the 2024 NBA Finals and in a period of parody for the NBA, the storylines in this series are endless.

Pressure is mounting on Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics to bring home their second Larry O'Brien trophy in almost 40 years, given how long they've resided near the top of the Eastern Conference table in recent years.

Dallas could be led to their second championship in franchise history by another European star. At 25 years old, Luka could be forging a path of greatness even beyond that of 2011 Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki.

The most consistent winners of the season matchup against the most in-form side since the all-star break, which side has the personnel to win the ultimate prize?

We've ranked the top 10 players entering this year's NBA Finals, beginning with...

10. Dereck Lively II (Dallas)

This rookie big man has been a key pillar to Dallas' defensive stocks with a versatile ability to pinch hit on the points sheet also.

Taken with pick 12 in the 2023 NBA Draft, the 20-year-old seven-footer would love nothing more than to kickstart a career of potential with a first-year ring.

Hopefully, the neck sprain he played through in the Western Conference Finals does not hinder his production in the biggest series of his young career.

2023/24 stats
Pts: 8.8
Reb: 6.9
Ast: 1.1
Stl: 0.7
Blk: 1.4
FG%: 74.7
3pt FG%: N/A
FT%: 50.6
PER: 18.1

9.  PJ Washington (Dallas)

PJ can be pivotal to Dallas' success when left open for a corner three or when crashing the boards and bringing energy to the side.

He may be a crucial cog in the series if needed to match Boston's potential three-point prowess during the series.

Look for Washington to show out any given night to give you 20+ in a big game for the Mavericks.

2023/24 stats
Pts: 12.9
Reb: 5.6
Ast: 1.9
Stl: 0.9
Blk: 1.0
FG%: 43.6
3pt FG%: 32.0
FT%: 68.3
PER: 12.2

8. Daniel Gafford (Dallas)

Gafford has been a revelation in these playoffs with his defensive presence and connection with Doncic and Irving down low.

A cult hero at the Mavs, his interior defence will be crucial in quelling the influence of Celtic slashers and big men on the block.

Look for him to also hit the scoreboard at an efficient clip when set up by the Dallas superstars on the drive.

2023/24 stats
Pts: 11.0
Reb: 7.6
Ast: 1.6
Stl: 0.5
Blk: 1.5
FG%: 72.5
3pt FG%: N/A
FT%: 67.4
PER: 21.7

7. Jrue Holiday (Boston)

While Holiday will hit 34 years old during these finals, he's shown the capability to wind back the clock on occasion when the Celtics have called for him to do so.

He is not the same defender and floor-maker he was when winning titles at the Bucks, but he may not need to be behind Derrick White and the star Celtics.

Nevertheless, he brings championship DNA and leadership to a young side under significant pressure to win the chip.

2023/24 stats
Pts: 12.5
Reb: 5.4
Ast: 4.8
Stl: 0.9
Blk: 0.8
FG%: 48.0
3pt FG%: 42.9
FT%: 83.3
PER: 14.4

6. Kristaps Porzingis (Boston)

Kristaps Porzingis faces his former team in Dallas and game one of the finals should be his first appearance since April. Celtics fans will be praying he can continue what was a promising season until the calf strain.

He has resurrected his career at Boston and is proving he can be a star on a contender, but his return to form after injury is the main question, his lack of playoff experience may be noteworthy.

2023/24 stats
Pts: 20.1
Reb: 7.2
Ast: 2.0
Stl: 0.7
Blk: 1.9
FG%: 51.6
3pt FG%: 37.5
FT%: 85.8
PER: 23.2

5. Derrick White (Boston)

Playing a similar style to teammate Jrue Holiday, Derrick White has played a significant role for this Celtics team on both sides of the floor.

He is a reliable pinch-hit scorer with a capable deep ball but provides arguably more value on the other end with his perimeter defence.

His top priority in this series will be quelling the influence of Kyrie Irving, being too small to clamp Luka Doncic on the drive.

2023/24 stats
Pts: 15.2
Reb: 4.2
Ast: 5.2
Stl: 0.8
Blk: 0.9
FG%: 46.1
3pt FG%: 39.6
FT%: 90.1
PER: 16.9

4. Jaylen Brown (Boston)

The former pick-three is fresh off an Eastern Conference Finals MVP performance and, if the Celtics can finish the job, will likely be in the running for the Bill Russell award also.

In his last finals appearance - 2022 against the Warriors - he was Boston's best, averaging 24 points, seven rebounds and four assists, but it wasn't enough.

This time round, he'll be looking to provide more of the same while also guarding the Slovenian assassin down the other end.

A proven clutch performer, could Jaylen Brown step up and prove the difference in a Celtics series win?

2023/24 stats
Pts: 23.0
Reb: 5.5
Ast: 3.6
Stl: 1.2
Blk: 0.5
FG%: 49.9
3pt FG%: 35.4
FT%: 70.3
PER: 18.6

3. Kyrie Irving (Dallas)

Kyrie Irving's career has been revitalised in Dallas alongside Doncic, so much so that commentator Stan Van Gundy believes these two could make up the greatest offensive backcourt duo in NBA history.

Can Kyrie maintain the rage against his former team on the biggest stage?

He will undoubtedly cop an earful from the Boston faithful, but we know he will be eager to stamp himself as the veteran leader of his Mavericks.

2023/24 stats
Pts: 25.6
Reb: 5.0
Ast: 5.2
Stl: 1.3
Blk: 0.5
FG%: 49.7
3pt FG%: 41.1
FT%: 90.5
PER: 21.9

2. Jayson Tatum (Boston)

As one of the best American-born players in the league, a series win and finals MVP provides an opportunity for Jayson Tatum to fulfil his potential in becoming the face of the league, a mantle usually held by the LeBron James', Steph Curry's and Kobe Bryant's of the world.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 11: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics waits for a free throw during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on January 11, 2024 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks defeated the Celtics 135 - 102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

He is not the best player in the NBA, that title may be taken by the next player on this list. But to be the one to lead one of the most famous franchises back to the championship winner's list at 26 years old would go down in basketball history.

2023/24 stats
Pts: 26.9
Reb: 8.1
Ast: 4.9
Stl: 1.1
Blk: 0.7
FG%: 47.1
3pt FG%: 37.6
FT%: 83.3
PER: 22.3

1. Luka Doncic (Dallas)

Basketball's best-player-alive mantle could be up for grabs after Nikola Jokic's second-round defeat, could Maverick maestro Luka Doncic stake his claim with a title and Finals MVP performance?

He is already proving to be one of the best playoff performers in NBA history, despite being just 25 years old in only his sixth season.

DALLAS, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 02: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on November 02, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Playoff numbers of 31 points and eight assists per game provide an ominous warning to the Celtics defenders, having put up those stats in a stronger conference against some notable defensive stars, including Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Of all the players entering this finals series, Doncic is the best bet to will his side to victory and continue his path into the pantheon of NBA greats.

2023/24 stats
Pts: 33.9
Reb: 9.2
Ast: 9.8
Stl: 1.2
Blk: 0.5
FG%: 48.7
3pt FG%: 38.2
FT%: 78.6
PER: 28.1