Dallas Mavericks: Western Conference Finals Preview vs Minnesota Timberwolves

All eyes will be on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks in this series against the Timberwolves.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

How did we get here?
The Dallas Mavericks have a chance to go on to the 2024 NBA Finals this year. The Mavericks fought to a 5-game series win versus the Clippers and just finished a dog fight with the young guns of the NBA in the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now the Mavericks are facing the Minnesota Timberwolves and their young star Anthony Edwards. The Timberwolves beat last year’s NBA champions the Denver Nuggets and league MVP Nikola Jokic. This season has been one of the strangest seasons in the last 4 years. The Lakers, Warriors, Spurs and Nuggets are at home or on vacation watching the playoffs like we are right now. In my mind, the winner of the series will eventually win the NBA title this year. Both of these teams can play from behind, rebound well and play defense in the latter parts of the 4th quarter. Let’s take a closer look at this year’s Western Conference Finals between the Mavericks and Timberwolves.

Breaking it Down
Dallas is a solid team that can beat any team in the league right now. The key for Dallas is rebounding and creating turnovers. When Dallas out rebounds the opposing team, they win 89% of the time. Dallas will have their hands full with PF Karl Anthony-Townes and C Rudy Gobert. Dallas must first control the clock and not allow the Timberwolves to force them into taking bad shots with seconds left on the shot clock. When Dallas falls behind, they start hoisting bad 3-points shots which gets this team in trouble. Minnesota is a problem for smaller teams. They get the opposing teams’ big men into trouble early during the playoffs and in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Rudy Gobert has his way in the paint along with backup center Naz Reid. The Timberwolves are a solid team that rebounds well and gets the ball down the floor for easy transition buckets. This series could easily go 7 games! The Timberwolves haven’t been this deep in the playoffs in 30 years while the Mavericks were in the Western Conference Finals in 2022. This will be a dog fight from start to finish.

Game 1
Dallas Mavericks vs Minnesota Timberwolves
Date: May 22
Time: 7:30 PM
For the past 5 playoffs series, Dallas has lost the first game of each series. This game won’t be any different. Dallas struggles with in-game adjustments especially when they start games from behind. Dallas relies on the 3-point shot in the first quarter. Minnesota plays great ball at home. They are a big team that can rebound and sho0t the 3-ball with ease. This game will be that feel out game for both teams. ESPN has the Timberwolves with a 57.7% chance of winning the first game. I’m taking Minnesota by 10. Dallas will be just fine after this game.
Final Score: Mavericks 117 – Timberwolves 127

Game 2
Dallas Mavericks vs Minnesota Timberwolves
Date: May 24
Time: 7:30 PM
This will be revenge game for this series. Dallas will make the adjustments in order to get a win on the road in Minnesota. The player to watch for the Mavericks will be small forward P.J. Washington. His defense will be most needed on the wing trying to contain Anthony Edwards and Mike Conley. I’m taking Dallas by 6! Dallas will need to split the 2-game series on the road to have some sort of control coming home to play games 3 and 4 at home. ESPN has the Timberwolves with a 54.6% chance of winning at home. They are so wrong on this one!
Final Score: Mavericks 119 – Timberwolves 113