Dallas Mavericks Set to Play the Minnesota Timberwolves in Western Conference Finals

The Dallas Mavericks now know their opponent for the final round of the 2024 Western Conference Playoffs
Jan 7, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) attempts to knock the ball away from Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5)
Jan 7, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) attempts to knock the ball away from Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 117-116 on Saturday night to advance to the Western Conference Finals but had to wait until Sunday night to know their opponent. With a 98-90 win in Game 7 over the reigning champion Denver Nuggets, the Mavericks will be playing the Minnesota Timberwolves next round with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line. The Timberwolves made the largest halftime comeback in Game 7 history to advance.

This is a matchup of two of the younger superstars in the NBA, as Luka Doncic will face off against phenom Anthony Edwards. The Timberwolves have a stifling defense, having the NBA's best defensive rating throughout the regular season, though the Mavericks had the best defensive rating over the last 20 games of the season.

READ MORE: Dallas Mavericks Rally To Advance to Western Conference Finals: 3 Game-Changing Plays

It's only the second-ever matchup between these two franchises, a Dallas Mavericks' sweep in three games in 2002 as Dirk Nowitzki established himself as a better number-one option over Kevin Garnett. This is only Minnesota's second-ever appearance in the Western Conference Finals as a franchise, matching Luka Doncic's career, with their other appearance coming in 2004.

Minnesota won the season series 3-1, though all of those games came before February and Dallas made their trades to bring in Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington. Because of that, it's not certain how Dallas will matchup, but I'd imagine Daniel Gafford will guard Rudy Gobert, P.J. Washington will guard Karl-Anthony Towns, Derrick Jones Jr. will guard Anthony Edwards, Luka Doncic will guard Jaden McDaniels, and Kyrie Irving will start on Mike Conley. Doncic will have to deal with a pesky defender once again, as he's likely to draw the McDaniels assignment.

Anthony Edwards has been impressive these playoffs, averaging around 30 PPG. His ascension along the steady-handedness of the veteran Mike Conley has been electric to watch. Derrick Jones Jr. will have his hands full with this matchup.

The Mavericks will need their bigs to show up in this series. They were able to dominate a smaller Oklahoma City Thunder team on the glass but it'll be much harder to do that against a massive Minnesota frontline, featuring Gobert, Towns, and Sixth Man of the Year winner Naz Reid. If Dallas could get Maxi Kleber back from his shoulder sprain in this series, it could go a long way, just to give them more versatility and match up with Towns' skillset.

Game 1 will start at 7:30 p.m. CST from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

READ MORE: Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving Tandem Instrumental in Deep Playoff Run

Stick with MavericksGameday for more coverage of the Dallas Mavericks throughout the NBA Playoffs 

Follow Austin Veazey on Twitter

Published |Modified
Austin Veazey


Austin Veazey joined NoleGameday as the Lead Basketball Writer in 2019, while contributing as a football writer, and started as editor for MavericksGameday in 2024. Veazey was a Florida State Men’s Basketball Manager from 2016-2019. Follow Austin on Twitter at @EasyVeazeyNG