Minnesota Timberwolves: Down to the Wire Loss Shows Flaws

Minnesota Timberwolves

Did you miss it? Observing the Mavericks break their slow-start deadlock to lead their Western Conference Finals Series was mind-blowing. Now, could the Minnesota Timberwolves come from behind to win the series?

While the Timberwolves tried catching their breath from Game 1’s marathon, Luka Donic performed his magic in Game 2 and bagged an impressive triple-double. However, the series isn’t over. The Timberwolves still have a shot at taking down the Mavericks if they can beat them in Dallas.

Anthony Edwards’ Performance Against the Mavericks

Minnesota Timberwolves

Anthony Edwards is an incredible player who built his playoff experience and confidence during the first round and semi-finals by defeating his idol, Kevin Durant, and the 2023-24 MVP, Nikola Jokic. With this confidence and high morale, he decided to challenge the NBA Champ, Kyrie Irving – who has been a bit quiet lately.

Before the Game 1 battle with the Mavericks, Kai said, “Hold my beer,” and dropped 24 points in the first half, six points in the second, and five rebounds, which led to the Timberwolves’ downfall. Edwards couldn’t guard Kyrie efficiently to give his team the upper hand in the game. Edwards displayed an unusual performance, finishing Game 1 with 19 points and 11 rebounds as he looked tired and fatigued all game.

Coming into Game 2, Anthony Edwards didn’t perform at his optimal level impacting his overall play. ANT has made 29.8% of his shot attempts in his last three games. Thus, it seemed he was still recovering from Game 1’s fatigue.

The Mavericks defended the Wolves’ best player to keep him quiet, as Anthony got 21 points and 7 assists. Interestingly, Game 2 exposed the Timberwolves’ possible trump card, Naz Reid, who could ease the offensive pressure on ANT as he performed well in Game 2. Finally, He could also help Anthony Edwards get his head back in the game.

Minnesota Timberwolves Performance Against the Mavericks

Minnesota Timberwolves Dallas Mavericks

The Timberwolves started strong against the defending champion, Nuggets, and we expected the same level of performance in the Western Conference Finals. However, the Mavericks calmed them with their style of play.

Though the Wolves recorded four out of five wins against the Mavericks during the regular season, the Mavericks halted their momentum and took advantage at the Timberwolves’ home court. Now, some key takeaways

Little Things Matter

The Minnesota Timberwolves failed to pay attention to the game’s little details. This performance is similar to the Dallas vs. OKC semifinal series. Also, Dallas used this experience as an advantage over the Timberwolves to take the early lead in the series.

Also, the Mavericks understood that Anthony Edwards is an aggressive, offensive player who enjoys making posters. Therefore, they filled to the arc to bait ANT into shooting threes, which affected the Timberwolves’  point total in the first game.

Game Closers

From the scoreboard, one might think the Timberwolves were dominating, but when you zoom out of the picture, you’d observe that the Mavericks start slow and finish fast when the Wolves tired. As observed in Game 2, Kyrie Irving helped clinch the game win by being more aggressive in the second half. Kyrie Irving scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, making 90% of his field goals and 3-pointers. 

Also, Luka performed his magic when the Mavs were 18 points behind in Game 2 to bring them all the way back. On the other hand, the Timberwolves started aggressively but then were dominated by the Mavericks down the stretch. Therefore, if the Wolves could maintain their aggressive energy from the first to the last quarter, they could defeat the Mavs.

Rebounds

The Mavericks had more rebounds in both games than the Timberwolves and converted those rebounds into vital points that took their game to another level. The Timberwolves should work on their rebounding to match the Mavericks and tie the series. Most of these details favor the Mavs because of their advanced experience over the Wolves as NBA Championship Contenders.

What to Expect in the Western Conference Finals

Minnesota Timberwolves

The odds are against the Timberwolves as the Mavericks took away the Wolves’ home advantage. Also, Dallas hasn’t been beaten twice at home. Therefore, to break this home run record, the Timberwolves have to win twice at Dallas’ home to tie the series. Also, Naz Reid’s performance in Game 2 produced promising results that the Timberwolves could use to come back.

About the Author

Wisdom is an email and brand copywriter with two years of content writing experience. He started Cloud Kitchen Concept to help startups and business owners elevate their brands from good to great. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and Instagram to enjoy cooked meals for your business’s growth.

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