If history repeats itself, Timberwolves will win NBA title
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Anthony Edwards (1) and center Karl-Anthony Towns (32). Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

If history repeats itself, Timberwolves will win NBA title

The Timberwolves on Monday became only the second team in NBA history to take a 2-0 lead against the defending champions on their own floor (not including the 2020 Orlando bubble). 

The last team to accomplish that?

Dirk Nowitzki's Mavericks in 2011 when they swept the Lakers in the second round en route to their first NBA title in franchise history. 

The Timberwolves are in an eerily similar situation. They have the defending champions on the ropes, and just like the Mavericks in 2011, they're seeking their first title. Furthermore, Charles Barkley has declared that Anthony Edwards and Co. will complete the sweep of the Nuggets.

"This series is a wrap," Barkley said on "Inside the NBA" on TNT. "Minnesota is better than the Nuggets. The Nuggets don't have an advantage anywhere — the MVP [Nikola Jokic] is getting outplayed. I said before the season that I didn't believe in Minnesota, but they have changed my mind. They are for real. They're gonna sweep the Denver Nuggets. Period."

Another similarity from Dallas' 2011 title run?

The Mavs were given +2000 long-shot odds to win the title during the preseason.

The Timberwolves were +6000 favorites (16th-shortest odds) at the start of the 2023-24 season. 

The oddsmakers in Las Vegas have finally come around to the Timberwolves. Entering the second-round series against the Nuggets, they had the fourth-shortest odds to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy, behind the Celtics, Nuggets and Thunder. They have now leapfrogged to second. 

The Timberwolves are undefeated thus far in the postseason. They will look to take a 3-0 lead over the Nuggets when they go back home for Game 3 on Friday. 

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