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Dallas Mavericks vs Minnesota Timberwolves: Western Conference Finals Preview

Dallas Mavericks advance to Western Conference Finals after beating Thunder and Nuggets, set to face Timberwolves in matchup of rising stars.

The Dallas Mavericks pulled off a thrilling 117-116 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night, securing their spot in the Western Conference Finals. However, they had to wait until Sunday night to find out their opponent. The Mavericks will now face the Minnesota Timberwolves in the next round, with a chance to advance to the NBA Finals on the line. The Timberwolves staged a historic halftime comeback in Game 7 to secure their spot in the conference finals.

This matchup will feature two of the NBA's rising stars, Luka Doncic and Anthony Edwards. The Timberwolves boast the league's best defensive rating from the regular season, while the Mavericks have had the best defensive rating over the last 20 games.

This will only be the second meeting between these two franchises, with the Mavericks sweeping the Timberwolves in three games back in 2002. Dirk Nowitzki outshined Kevin Garnett in that series, establishing himself as the better number-one option. The Timberwolves are making just their second appearance in the Western Conference Finals as a franchise, matching Doncic's young career.

Although the Timberwolves won the season series 3-1, those games were played before the Mavericks made key trades to bolster their roster. It remains to be seen how Dallas will match up, but it's likely that Daniel Gafford will defend Rudy Gobert, P.J. Washington will guard Karl-Anthony Towns, Derrick Jones Jr. will take on Anthony Edwards, Luka Doncic will face Jaden McDaniels, and Kyrie Irving will match up with Mike Conley.

Edwards has been a standout performer in the playoffs, averaging around 30 points per game. His dynamic play, alongside the veteran leadership of Mike Conley, has been a joy to watch. Jones Jr. will have his work cut out for him in defending Edwards.

The Mavericks will need their big men to step up in this series, especially against the formidable Minnesota frontcourt featuring Gobert, Towns, and Sixth Man of the Year winner Naz Reid. The return of Maxi Kleber from a shoulder injury could provide Dallas with more versatility to match up against Towns' skillset.

Game 1 is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m. CST at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Fans can expect an intense and competitive series between these two talented teams.

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