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Who will go to the NBA Finals? National experts predict Mavericks-Timberwolves in WCF

Another week, another round of NBA playoff action.

After defeating the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder, Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are one series away from competing for an NBA title. Standing in their way are the Minnesota Timberwolves led by Anthony Edwards.

Dallas is looking to return to the Finals for the first time since 2011, while Minnesota is looking to reach that stage for the first time. Which team will advance? Here’s what national experts are saying about this year’s Western Conference finals:

ESPN

Six of 15 ESPN experts predicted the Mavs would win the West finals. Of those six, three believe they will win the series in seven games.

Former Maverick and current NBA analyst Tim Legler was among those who picked Dallas to win, along with Luka Doncic as series MVP. Legler said the Mavs can figure out how to attack Minnesota’s biggest strength.

“I think Dallas has the answer for their defense. “I think they have the answer,” Legler said. “They have the right star and the right co-star. And more importantly, these are the two best defenses I think I’ve seen in the postseason.”

NBA.com

Three of four NBA.com experts predicted Minnesota would advance. The only Mavs selector was writer Michael C. Wright, with Dallas at seven.

Here is Wright’s reasoning: “It feels like the Minnesota era, but it’s the same vibe coming from Dallas, which is playing in the conference finals for the second time in three seasons. As skilled as Irving and Doncic are, they also have experience in this scenario that Minnesota lacks. Edwards will undoubtedly put in some electrifying performances. But can he do it for seven grueling games in consecutive series? “Dallas seems to be peaking at the right time.”

Mavericks-Wolves Predictions: Will Dallas make its first NBA Finals appearance since 2011?

CBS Sports

Five of six CBS Sports experts backed the Timberwolves in their predictions. Jasmyn Wimbish beat the Mavs in seven.

This is what Wimbish said: “The Wolves present a tough matchup for Dallas, and they will have a hard time getting points at the rim with Gobert and KAT on the horizon. Say goodbye to all those Derrick Jones Jr., Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively II balloons. But I bet their defense will cause problems too, and I’m going with the duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving to be the most consistent stars.”

Kurt Helin, NBC Sports: Timberwolves in 7

Helin: “This is an outdoor series. Dallas could win and it’s not a surprise. The only thing I’m sure of is that it will be a long series. I trust Minnesota’s role players and depth a little more, so I’ll pick them out of 7, but all I’m really hoping for is a great series.”

Sporting News’ Stephen Noh: Timberwolves at 7

No h: “This series will be a dogfight between two great teams. Minnesota is as well-equipped as anyone to stop Luka’s pick-and-rolls while also having another quality defender to throw to Irving. “That should give the Timberwolves the advantage in this series.”

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