Mavericks head to Minnesota as Western Conference Finals underdogs

DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks will head to Minnesota on Tuesday to prepare for the start of their Western Conference Finals matchup.

The series between the Mavs and the Timberwolves begins Wednesday night.

<div>DALLAS, TEXAS - JANUARY 07: <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Kyrie Irving;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Kyrie Irving</a> #11 of the Dallas Mavericks makes a move to the basket during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at American Airlines Center on January 07, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)</div>

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Minnesota advanced Sunday night after defeating the defending champions – the Denver Nuggets.

The Timberwolves are favored to win this series and advance to the NBA Finals.

But after knocking off the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Mavs say they’ve seen the whole "underdog" thing before.

"Nothing new. You know, no matter if you look at people thinking who’s gonna win the series, no matter if you look at Luka’s MVP race," said Mavs center Dereck Lively II. "No matter where they’re going to put us, we’re gonna just try to do our best to claw our way out, making noise and just show the world who we are."

"It’s not gonna be an easy series at all. Like you said, they got a big front line. At the end of the day, we just have to go in and make sure we pay attention to detail and just like play through our principles," added Mavs center Daniel Gafford.

Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference Finals are Wednesday and Friday nights.

The series will move back to Dallas for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday.