Now that fans have had time to survey the new look Timberwolves roster and digest a franchise-altering trade, it’s time to look at what kind of competition the team will be tasked with facing this season.
Flip Saunders’ squad will likely see its fair share of ups and downs (maybe more downs) in 2014-2015, whether it be during their games against the severely unbalanced Eastern Conference, or versus the still-superior Western teams.
Nearly all of T-Wolves Nation likely circled Jan. 31, 2015 as the marquee match-up when league-wide regular season schedules were released. This will be the date when a certain former UCLA Bruin, nephew of a certain Beach Boys singer, and supposed franchise player who was shipped off to Cleveland, will be returning to the Target Center.
This mystery man’s highly anticipated return to Minnesota in a different NBA uniform is far and away the highlight on the schedule but guess what? There are still 81 other games.
Without further adieu, here are some of the top games to lookout for on the 2014-2015 Minnesota Timberwolves regular season schedule.
1. 11/08/14 @ Miami Heat
True, the Miami Heat no longer have LeBron James. So why would this early season road game be one to look out for?
No, it is not must-see television simply for Chris Bosh‘s epic post-game video bombs. In this, the sixth game of the season, Wolves rookie Andrew Wiggins should be tested offensively by King James’ replacement, Luol Deng. The former Duke Blue Devil is well-regarded as one of, if not the top man-to-man defensive players and that is only one reason to tune into this match-up.
2. 11/26/14 vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Why on earth should you watch a game between the team with the longest playoff drought in the league and the team who won a league worst 15 games last year? Five words can answer this – Andrew Wiggins versus Jabari Parker. This game will pit the top two picks from this year’s NBA draft against each other and who knows, maybe the Wolves can actually pick up a win in the process.
3. 12/12/14 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
This should be yet another tough match-up for Wiggins, facing off against the second best player in the league in Kevin Durant. Other story-lines include the Russell Westbrook/Ricky Rubio face-off and, quite simply, this should be one of the more difficult home games of the year for the Wolves.
4. 12/23/14 @ Cleveland Cavaliers
We’ll call this one “the precursor” or “the appetizer.” This holiday time game features a handful of juicy story-lines and is already a likely candidate to lead off the 11 p.m. edition of that night’s SportsCenter. Will the aforementioned mystery man get into any verbal jabs with owner Glen Taylor beforehand? How will his interactions be with his former teammates pre-game? Oh and by the way, LeBron and Kyrie Irving will also be a part of this game.
5. 01/31/15 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
“The return.” On what should be a frigid evening in the state of Minnesota, the newest member of the Cleveland Cavaliers will return to the arena he called home for six years. Your guess is as good as mine as to what kind of reception he will get from the Target Center crowd, but one thing’s for sure — the reception will be loud.
At this point in the season, we should also have a sense of just how good the Cavs are and just what the Timberwolves have in store for us this year.
Just for reference, below is the last significant Kevin’s return to Minnesota.
Other games of note:
- 11/19/14 vs. New York Knicks (Wiggins vs. Carmelo Anthony; good early test for Wiggins defensive skills)
- 12/01/14 @ L.A. Clippers (Plenty of entertainment from these high-flying offenses)
- 01/05/15 vs. Denver Nuggets (JaVale McGee comes to town and if healthy, is sure to provide some on court bloopers that may be needed as comic relief at this point in the season…)
What other games are you looking forward to seeing during this season’s Timberwolves run?
Comment below with your thought and stay tuned for more player capsules over the weekend as we get ready for what should be an interesting 2014-2015 Wolves season.