May 22, 2024 - News

How the Dallas Mavericks got to the Western Conference Finals

Two basketball players standing on a court with their back to the camera lens

We're ready for more LuKai magic. Photo: Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks are one series away from the NBA Finals, which means it's time to welcome the bandwagoners to our fan base.

Driving the news: The Minnesota Timberwolves are hosting the Mavs tonight for Game 1 of the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals.

  • The Celtics and Indiana Pacers are playing in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Flashback: The Mavericks last played in the Western Conference Finals in 2022 and lost to the Golden State Warriors, who went on to win the championship.

  • Luka Dončić had only been a Mav a few years, and he didn't have a strong team behind him — yet.
  • And, it was Jason Kidd's debut as head coach.

State of play: The team made big additions since then.

  • Versatile players like Kyrie Irving, Derrick Jones Jr., PJ Washington and rookie Dereck Lively II have shown that they can keep up with Dončić.
  • Irving and Dončić have become a power duo, pulling off some wild plays in critical moments.
  • Lively is only 20, but he's been a key contributor on offense and defense, often making memorable dunks and blocks. He's also the team's hype man.

What's next: The Timberwolves (No. 3 seed) will be a tough matchup for the Mavericks (No. 5 seed). The Wolves often play two big men at the same time and have a deep bench.

  • Dončić was playing through some injuries in the past two series, though winning the conference semifinals in six games gave him a couple extra days of rest before this series.

The intrigue: Dirk Nowitzki was there to watch them clinch a Western Conference Finals spot during Game 6 against the Oklahoma City Thunder last weekend. 🐐

  • He cheered courtside like a father figure and jokingly put a colleague-turned-reporter in a chokehold.
  • We hope he'll be back this series to hype up the kids.

How to watch: TNT will broadcast the games, which means you'll be able to watch them on streaming services like HBO Max and Sling.

  • Game 1 starts at 7:30pm. Game 2 is Friday in Minneapolis. The teams will travel to Dallas for Game 3 on Sunday and Game 4 on Tuesday.
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