This year’s NBA Finals pits two cities against each other that many would assume have little in common. And that’s putting it mildly.

Let’s start with the obvious: It’s lobster rolls vs. brisket. The Hub vs. the Metroplex. Wahlburgers vs. Whataburger. Celtics vs. Mavericks with an NBA title on the line.

Boston is in blue Massachusetts, where saying “y’all” is a surefire way to confirm you’re from elsewhere. In Dallas, deep in the heart of red Texas, folks only utter “wicked” when it’s in the Bible.

It would be easy to write off this Finals matchup as a clash of cultures, but start talking to people from both places, and you quickly learn that Dallas and Boston have some common traits.

Love of team

John Koulouris, a Celtics fan from Saugus, was there in 2008 when Boston took down the Los Angeles Lakers to bring home the title.

Last week, he returned to TD Garden for Game 1 of this year’s Finals with his mother, who didn’t get to attend last time. He brought with him a Celtics pendant and a miniature Larry O’Brien trophy.

“I want them to win it so bad for her this year because she wants to see it live—and I want to witness it with her, too, because it’s a special feeling,” he said. “It’s like the greatest thing you can experience.”

Compared to the 17 banners that currently hang over the parquet at TD Garden, the Mavericks single title from 2011 may not seem like much. But to Mavs fans like Paul Neckels, that chip means the world.

Originally from North Dakota, he moved to Dallas then became such a diehard fan that he wrote in Mavs star Luka Doncic as a candidate in the election for Texas’ railroad commissioner. Standing outside of American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas before Game 3, he laid out why he believes there are similarities between this year’s Mavs team and the famed squad from 2011.

“There’s a lot of comparisons,” he said. “Another great player, good surrounding cast, lightning in a bottle. The whole city’s excited. Everybody’s super hyped. You stand out here and you can’t help but feel the optimism.”

The fans’ love for the Celtics and Mavericks is something that the team’s homegrown stars share back.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have only played for Boston while in the NBA—a rarity among modern superstar duos. And Luka Doncic, who has spent his entire NBA career in the Big D, told reporters before Game 2 that he’s thrilled to represent Dallas.

“Hopefully it’s not the last time. But I think the whole of Dallas is proud of our team,” he said.

Dallas and Boston are from different sides of the country. But both have inherited the revolutionary spirit of the past, a come and take it attitude that has given their people an intense pride in place. Loyalty, grit and a bit of a superiority complex to northern neighbors are something both towns have plenty of. Sorry New Hampshire and Oklahoma.

But there’s something else both teams have in common: an intense competitive nature.

'This ain’t Texas’

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, a former Harvard and pro basketball player herself, couldn’t help but take a dig at the Mavs’ home state at a TD Garden press conference last week.

“And this ain’t Texas, this is Massachusetts,” she boasted. “And we know something about basketball. We also know something about titles, we know something about winning and we know about the incredible, incredible legacy of the Boston Celtics organization.”

Healey was, of course, tipping her hat to the Lone Star State’s own Beyonce with that quip. But the governor is right: This ain’t Texas. And Boston certainly ain’t Dallas.

Speaking before Game 2, Celtics star Jaylen Brown seemed to be encouraging the competition between the two communities.

“You know, it’s not just team vs. team. It’s crowd vs. crowd, it’s gas station vs. gas station, it’s supermarket vs. supermarket,” he said. “It’s the whole city vs. the whole city. So, we need everybody.”

That quote led to some hilarious memes from local grocery store loyalists. Though Texas-based Buc-ee’s, which averages around 100 gas pumps per station, puts pretty much every Massachusetts gas station to shame.

So whether you crack open a Sam Adams or a Shiner or your dirty water runs from the Charles River or the Trinity or your first basketball idol was Larry Bird or Dirk Nowitzki, whether it’s Different Here or you’re a Mavs Fan For Life, just know there’s probably someone on the other side who understands how you feel. Even if their accent may be a little funny.

And if all of that isn’t enough, believe this: Neither city is too fond of the Houston Astros. That’s something everyone can agree on.