If anyone played a drinking game with the term "pick and roll" during the media availability of Timberwolves coach Chris Finch, they would not have been of much use most of Tuesday afternoon.

Finch was underscoring how different a matchup the Dallas Mavericks would be beginning with Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday night at Target Center, and he appeared to have a new favorite term of the day.

"Well, this is going to be a heavy pick-and-roll series," Finch said. "This is kind of the primary driver of their offense, a lot of pick and roll. We're going to have to be good in pick and roll, a lot of different coverages, different things through a series you're going to have to employ and go to at different points. But yeah, last series wasn't that heavy in pick and roll, so fortunately we've been pretty good in pick and roll this year."

Such will be the challenge against Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and a revamped Dallas team that looks different from the version the Wolves played four times before the NBA trade deadline in February.

The Mavericks added size and some shooting when they dealt for forward P.J. Washington and center Daniel Gafford at the deadline. Washington, in particular, played a big role in the Mavericks' second-round series victory over the Thunder by being able to hit open shots that came out of the attention Oklahoma City paid to Doncic and Irving.

Washington had three games of 20 or more points in the Thunder series, and the Mavericks won two of those games.

Wolves vs. Mavericks preview and prediction

The Wolves spent a significant portion of Tuesday's practice relearning some of their pick-and-roll coverages after playing two series against teams that did not run as much of it.

"We'll have multiple challenges this series, and we'll have to figure that out right away," point guard Mike Conley said. "Obviously only getting a day and a half to prepare for them, it's different than the last two series, where we had three, four days off to get ready. So, we got to lock in right away."

The Wolves are essentially preparing for a brand-new opponent. Their four games of experience against Dallas mean almost nothing when it came before the trades for Washington and Gafford — and Irving and Doncic played together in only one of those games.

"They're a way more complete and complementary unit," Finch said. "Their defense has taken a big step forward with their rim protection, and you can just see the kind of connectivity on defense, and overall effort is at an all-time high there."

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The Mavericks had the 19th-rated defense in terms of efficiency before the All-Star break, but they closed strong. Over the last 15 games of the regular season, Dallas had the NBA's most efficient defense.

The Wolves had the most efficient defense over the course of the season, and defense has brought both teams to this moment, when the NBA will crown a new champion for the sixth consecutive season.

Finch has said a recurring motto among the team all season has been, "Why not us?"

"It has been a great season," Finch said. "We accomplished a lot, but we said from the beginning and as the season was unfolding, why not us? The league is wide open. We're not in a dynastic period. … Everything still to play for, but a long, long way to go."

The Wolves' Game 7 victory at Denver still feels fresh in the minds of a lot of people, but the team has to turn the page, both literally and figuratively.

As players left the practice facility Tuesday, they were carrying binders with information and the team's plans to combat the Mavericks, just as they had similar binders in the previous two series. Fans and everyone involved in the series will get to know one another much more in the coming days.

"Big challenge for us," center Rudy Gobert said. "But we also believe in who we are, believe in our strengths, and we believe in our ability to try to slow them down. … We know it's going to be really tough. We know these guys are an incredible team. They're here for a reason. But everyone in this locker room believes."