Defense Wins Championships, Mavericks and Timberwolves Tango

NBA Western Finals Preview, Odds and More

Your NBA Western Finals Preview is here! We are going to look at the matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Our NBA Western Conference Finals matchup is between two teams who had great regular seasons, but neither were the top two seeds in the crowded and talented NBA Western Conference standings.

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The Timberwolves went into the final game of the season tied for the number one seed but ended up as the third seed. The Mavericks never were in the upper echelon of the standings but hovered around the middle of the standings and eventually made their way to the fifth seed.

Continue for our NBA Western Finals Preview where we will look at how these teams got to the NBA Western Conference Finals and see who has a better chance at getting onto the NBA finals schedule in a couple weeks.

Mavericks logoMavericks vs TimberwolvesTimberwolves logo

Regular Season Records: Dallas Mavericks (50-32), Minnesota Timberwolves (56-26)
Location: Games 1, 2, 5, 7 in Minnesota, Games 3, 4, 6 in Dallas
Day/Time: Game 1, Wednesday, May 22

An Underdog Story

The Wolves finished the season with a 108.4 defensive rating (one of the best in recent league history)and were 17th in offensive efficiency. The Timberwolves ended their season at 40-41-1 against the spread and 41-40-1 on over/under. The Wolves have currently the second shortest NBA championship odds at +250 (down from +850 before the start of the Denver series).

In round one the Timberwolves handled the talented Phoenix Suns in four easy games. The Suns were actually favored to start the series, but the Timberwolves quickly showed how wrong oddsmakers were with a clean sweep.

Anthony Edwards averaged 31.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 6.3 assists in the series, and put the league on notice that he is a star in both the regular season and a true danger in the playoffs.

In their second-round matchup against the defending champion Denver Nuggets, it seemed as if the Timberwolves would have their work cut out for them. Once again they were the underdogs, and once again they came out with zero fear.

The Timberwolves instantly snatched home-court advantage with an upset in Game 1 and then really put the pressure on the Nuggets after winning Game 2 in Denver as well.

The Nuggets came back with three straight wins and looked like they might put away their new rival, but a Game 6 annihilation (and defensive masterclass) gave the Timberwolves a chance to steal the series with a Game 7 in Denver.

Once again, the Timberwolves were underdogs in Game 7, and once again they defied the odds. The Timberwolves went down big early against the Nuggets. Right when it seemed like hope may be lost, they surged back from a 20-point deficit and stamped their ticket to the first NBA Western Conference Finals since the Kevin Garnett Era.

Luka Looks Lethal

The Mavericks haven’t had an easy path to the NBA Western Conference Finals. As the fifth seed their first-round matchup against the Clippers was a true test.

Although the Clippers battled some NBA injuries, their veteran (all-star?) core, the two teams had a back-and-forth first-round series that notched up at 2-2 after four games.

Luka’s health was also in question, but he never missed a game in the series and handled the Clippers in games five and six to win the series 4-2.

In the second round the Mavericks faced an even tougher test, the number one seed Oklahoma City Thunder. The young and hungry Thunder were a tough test for Dallas, getting the series to 2-2 after four games.

Then, needing to win at least one game on the road, Luka put together back-to-back triple-double performances and propelled the Mavericks to another 4-2 series victory.

Although the Mavericks hang their hat on the incredible offense of their two stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, Dallas’s defense is what has lifted them through these playoffs.

This series will be not only a test of their star’s abilities but also if their defense can match that of the tenacious Timberwolves.

Minnesota Finally Favorites

The series NBA odds are out for the NBA Western Conference Finals and Minnesota is finally a favorite. They currently sit at -170 favorites to win the series over the Mavericks. The Mavericks are +145 underdogs.

In their last ten matchups versus the Timberwolves, the Mavericks are 4-6 straight up and 5-5 against the spread. The point total in those games went 2-7-1.

After beating the defending champions, the Timberwolves are certainly coming into this series with a swagger that Dallas will have to work hard to thwart. Dallas has been here before. Their stars Luka and Kyrie certainly have more playoff experience than the younger Minnesota roster.

Expect a defensive battle this series, so take a look at the under in a lot of these matchups. We can see this game going at least six games. So taking the Games Played in Series total of 5.5 (-180) is a bet worth looking at.

Now take this NBA Western Finals preview and go make some bets!


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