DALLAS — The Minnesota Timberwolves are the favorite according to many analysts heading into the Western Conference Finals. All season long, though, the Dallas Mavericks have made it clear that they do not care what anyone has to say. Dallas believes in their ability to win games and they have consistently upset the odds. PJ Washington does not even consider the Mavs to be the underdog heading into the Western Conference Finals.

“I mean, I don't feel like we're the underdog at all,” Washington said on Tuesday after practice. “We're both in the Western Conference Finals for a reason. I don't know what people are thinking but for us we're confident in our abilities… We can't wait to go to Minnesota.”

The Mavs' confidence has proved to be crucial throughout the postseason. Additionally, Dallas' team chemistry has played a major role in their overall success.

Rookie Dereck Lively II addressed the Mavs' ability to overcome the odds on Monday after practice.

“Nothing new,” Lively said of the Timberwolves being favored over the Mavs by a number of sports pundits. “No matter if you look at people thinking whose going to win this series, no matter if you look at Luka's MVP race, you look at me Second-Team All-Rookie, it doesn't matter where they're going to put us… No matter where they're gonna 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.”

Others may say that the Mavericks are the underdog, but Dallas clearly does not feel that way.

PJ Washington's resilient mindset has been the key for Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks forward P.J. Washington (25) yells at Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (7) and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and forward Kenrich Williams (34) during the second half in game four of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are superstars. Dallas has a deep roster that is capable of performing well on both ends of the floor. However, PJ Washington's resilient mindset has played a crucial role in the NBA playoffs.

The Mavs were seemingly reenergized when Washington first did his now-viral pose against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first-round of the playoffs. Dallas went on to defeat LA before earning another series victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Now they are preparing for a clash that projects to be incredibly competitive with the Timberwolves. Minnesota also plays with plenty of confidence, but the Mavs will not back down.

This Mavericks squad plays with motivation. Washington's mindset has given them an unstoppable attitude that will be necessary moving forward. He is a nice guy, but Washington is all business when he is on the floor.

“I think we're all excited obviously to still be playing at this point in the season,” Washington said of the Mavericks mindset ahead of the series. “Just a lot of excitement and we're ready to go.”

Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals is scheduled for 8:30 PM EST in Minnesota as Dallas looks to jump out to a 1-0 series lead. Winning at least one of the first two road games would be huge for the Mavs to say the least.