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Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Game 2 prediction: NBA Western Conference finals odds, props



The Timberwolves dropped the series opener on their home floor despite a hot shooting night from Jaden McDaniels. 

With nowhere else to hide Luka Doncic’s defensive deficiencies, McDaniels should cook again in Game 2 on Friday night. 

McDaniels hit a career-high six 3-pointers Wednesday night, extending his streak of 3+ makes from beyond the arc to three. 

The Mavericks have a pair of strong perimeter defenders in P.J. Washington and Derrick Jones Jr., but those two are — and will continue to be — preoccupied with high-volume scorers in Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards

Along with Kyrie Irving, Doncic carries Dallas on the offensive end, but consistently falls asleep on defense, leaving role players like McDaniels to fall through the cracks. 

In nine minutes of game time with Doncic defending him in Game 1, McDaniels hit five long balls. 

Jaden McDaniels #3 of the Minnesota Timberwolves shoots over Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter in Game One of the Western Conference Finals at Target Center on May 22, 2024. Getty Images

He hit his other 3-pointer in the two minutes Irving – the Mavericks’ other weak spot on the defensive end – was guarding him. 

McDaniels only made 1.2 threes per game during the regular season, but he’s getting many more opportunities to get shots off during the Timberwolves’ playoff run. 

The 23-year-old wing’s minutes have jumped from 29.2 to 34 per game in the postseason. 

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He’s also shooting it at a much better clip, as he’s left open in the corners while defenses try to slow down Edwards and Towns, going from 33.7 percent to 41.5 percent on almost identical volume. 

McDaniels is also on a bit of a heater, by anyone’s standards, going 12-of-18 from deep over his last three games and scoring 21-plus in each contest. 

The play: Jaden McDaniels to make 2+ 3-pointers (-122, Caesars Sportsbook)

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