5 Reasons the Mavericks will destroy Timberwolves in Conference Finals

Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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3. Kyrie Irving is due for a big series

One thing in common that the Oklahoma City Thunder have with the Minnesota Timberwolves is that both squads feature some of the best arrays of point-of-attack defenders in the league. This won't make life any easier for Mavericks' guard Kyrie Irving once Dallas faces off against Minnesota, as Irving will be trapped and played physically by Minnesota's defense (subscription required) possibly even more than he was against OKC.

However, there is cause for optimism for Mavericks fans who are hoping that Irving will have a more efficient shooting series against Minnesota, as the 32-year-old veteran averaged the second lowest amount of points per game in his career in a given playoff series with 15.7 as well as nearly three turnovers per game in Dallas' series against OKC.

The Thunder's defense certainly affected Irving with their length and physicality on the perimeter, but Irving also had some uncharacteristic turnovers as well as some missed opportunities to attack and get to his spots oftentimes earlier on in the series versus OKC. With the Thunder having the luxury to focus less on Doncic with his inefficient play earlier on in the series, Irving faced perhaps the most defensive attention out of any Mavericks' player in their second round series versus the Thunder

Irving cleaned up some of the uncharacteristic mistakes he made earlier in the series toward the ladder half of Dallas' series versus OKC, and he still played great defense and was a stellar playmaker throughout the series. Minnesota will throw the kitchen sink at Irving, but it's unlikely that he shoots as inefficient or has near as many turnovers in this coming series. While it's not guaranteed given how wiry Minnesota's defense, Irving could be due for a big series from a shooting perspective after a rougher performance versus the Thunder, as players of his caliber can only be contained for so long.