Edwards, T-Wolves lockdown Luka and Mavs en route to 1-0 series lead

Tony Reyes
By , Updated on: May 20, 2024 08:00 PM
Edwards, T-Wolves lockdown Luka and Mavs en route to 1-0 series lead
  • When: Wednesday, May 22nd at 8:30 PM ET
  • Who: Dallas Mavericks at Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Where: Target Center in Minneapolis, MN
  • What: NBA Western Conference Finals game 1

The Timberwolves host the Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs on Wednesday, setting the stage for an exciting Western Conference Finals. 

While many may already consider Minnesota the de facto conference champions after their Game 7 victory over the defending champs, it's worth pausing before crowning them just yet.

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Game Preview

Let's delve into our Mavericks-Timberwolves prediction and pick.

Minnesota undeniably appears formidable after defeating Denver in the Western Conference Semis.

However, the Timberwolves presented a unique challenge for the Nuggets, whose offense revolves around center Nikola Jokic

MoneylineBetOnlineBetUSBovada
Dallas Mavericks+150+150+150
Minnesota Timberwolves-170-175-180

With Jokic at the helm, Denver often faced Minnesota's defensive powerhouse, Rudy Gobert, a four-time Defensive Player of the Year. 

Although Karl-Anthony Towns isn't renowned for his defense, his tandem with Gobert (and Naz Reid) created a formidable barrier for Jokic, leading to a perfect 4-0 regular season record against Denver and an eventual playoff victory.

Recently, the NBA has witnessed a resurgence of dominant big men, with MVPs and champions like Jokic, Antetokounmpo, and Embiid.

In a strategic move, the Wolves decided to fortify their defense by acquiring Gobert, a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate, to bolster Towns. 

With no dominant big man left for Minnesota to neutralize, this series will test the Towns-Gobert combination's sustainability.

However, Dallas poses an entirely different challenge.

The Mavericks are led by superstar guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, who shift the defensive burden to Minnesota's backcourt. 

Jaden McDaniels and Mike Conley are expected to handle most of this defensive pressure, but Doncic and Irving will likely find their rhythm and exploit matchups throughout the series. 

Unlike Denver, which struggled offensively against Minnesota, Dallas should have no trouble surpassing the Nuggets' 97.6 points per game and 35% three-point shooting from the previous round.

Minnesota Timberwolves To win game
-175
BetUS

The Mavericks have thrived with their dynamic Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving duo. 

The key question is where additional scoring will come from.

PJ Washington has been a reliable third scorer, and Derrick Jones Jr. and Dereck Lively II have also been pivotal in the postseason. 

While Minnesota appears more battle-tested, having swept a potential super team in the Suns and then defeating the Nuggets in seven games, Doncic remains the standout player, giving Dallas a fighting chance in any matchup. 

The combination of Doncic and Irving forms the best remaining duo in the playoffs, with only the Celtics' Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown offering comparable star power.

While I see value in the underdogs, this is a compelling matchup where both teams' strengths could determine the series outcome. 

Dallas Mavericks To win game
+150
BetUS

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Total Points

Minnesota has been the story of the playoffs, combining relentless defense with the rise of superstar Anthony Edwards. 

Total PointsBetOnlineBetUSBovada
Over 207.5 Points-110-110-105
Under 207.5 Points-110-110-115

Edwards is the Timberwolves' linchpin, but they depend heavily on their big men, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert. 

The Wolves' defense has been exceptional, a necessity against the Mavericks' potent offense.

This series promises a clash of styles, with Minnesota's defensive prowess up against Dallas's offensive firepower. 

The Mavericks ranked 7th in scoring during the regular season, at 117.9 points per game, and were in the top 15 in field goal and three-point percentages. 

In the postseason, they averaged 105.7 points per game, with Doncic leading the way in scoring, rebounding, and assists.

While shaky during the regular season, Dallas's defense has stepped up in the playoffs, allowing 103.2 points per game. 

Doncic and Irving lead the team in steals, and Derrick Jones Jr. is a key shot-blocker. Their defense will be crucial against a Timberwolves team excelling on that end of the court. 

Minnesota has been the best defensive team in the NBA, a strength that has translated into the postseason.

They allowed the fewest points per game in the regular season and maintained their defensive intensity in the playoffs.

Gobert has been instrumental in rebounding, while Edwards leads in steals.

Offensively, the Timberwolves have been inconsistent but improved in the postseason—six players average double-digit points, with Edwards leading at 28.9 per game.

Mike Conley has been effective in distributing the ball. 

This game will feature contrasting styles. The Mavericks will rely on their rested stars, Doncic and Irving, to keep the game close.

Under 207.5 Points Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota T-Wolves
-110
BetUS

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Meet the author

Tony Reyes

With years of experience as an analyst, Tony brings an expert voice to picks and predictions. His love of sports betting comes through in coverage that informs and entertains in equal measure. You can find Tony shooting hoops or cycling the local trails when not watchin...

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