Timberwolves Slight Favorites in Western Conference Finals

Not many predicted Minnesota and Dallas in the Western Conference Finals, but both teams are

deserving of getting to the final four. We could be seeing the first of many playoff matches

between two young superstars in Anthony Edwards and Luka Doncic. Both players have been

the catalysts for their respective teams and now four wins away from reaching the NBA Finals.

Key Matchup: Doncic vs Edwards

There’s no question this will be the marquee matchup of this series. Both stars have been

putting up eye-popping numbers during the playoffs and will be counted on heavily by their

team.

Doncic: 27.3 PPG, 9.7 REB, 9.1 AST

Edwards: 28.9 PPG, 6.2 REB, 5.9 AST

And in their four meetings during the regular season, Doncic’s line: 24.8 points, 7.3 rebounds,

7.7 assists and 1.4 steals.

Edwards: 23.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.7 assist, and 1.1 steals.

Edwards, who was the NBA’s leading scorer, will likely be guarded by Kyrie Irving while Doncic

will be defended by Jaden McDaniels.

Wolves Edge

The Timberwolves know how to play shutdown defense, something they did against Denver in

the second half of game 7. Rudy Gobert won his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award and

Minnesota also has Towns and Sixth man of the Year winner, Naz Reid. Watch for them to limit

Dallas’s second-chance scoring opportunities in this series.

Mavs Mojo

Aside from Doncic, the Mavs still have a productive Kyrie Irving. After averaging 26.5 points in

the first series, where he dropped at least 30 on the Clippers three times, Irving averaged just

16 points against OKC and was held to 12 or fewer points 3 times. If he can provide secondary

scoring to help Doncic, the Mavs could be too tough to beat in seven games.

Prediction

Dallas is playing in the conference finals for the second time in three seasons and do have that

experience, something the young Wolves are lacking. This appears to be a series that will go

the distance and many feel the Mavs are peaking at the right time and that experience will reign

supreme in the end.

Western Conference Series Odds

Dallas Mavericks +150

Minnesota Timberwolves -170

Season Series head-to-head

The T-Wolves won three of the four regular season meetings but that was before the Mavs

traded for Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington. Those moves will change the way Dallas

defends against Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Jan 31, 2024 Mavericks 87 Timberwolves 121

Jan 07, 2024 Mavericks 115 Timberwolves 108

Dec 28, 2023 Mavericks 110 Timberwolves 118

Dec 14, 2023 Mavericks 101 Timberwolves 119

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