Tonight, the NBA released the 2015-16 regular season schedules, allowing all teams and fans to see where and when each contest will take place, as well as which games will be televised nationally.
One of the most interesting dynamics of the schedule release for the Timberwolves is how many games the NBA will broadcast on national TV. In 2014-15, the Timberwolves did have a couple of games broadcasted on ESPN and NBATV. However, for the most part, the team’s games were broadcast on the local Fox Sports channel only.
Despite finishing last season with the league’s worst record, it seems as if the buzz around the Timberwolves is increasing around the league as people become more aware of the talented young core in Minnesota. Especially after drafting Karl-Anthony Towns with the first overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft to join Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, and Shabazz Muhammad (among others), you’d think this would be a team people around the country would tune in to watch.
The first bit of news regarding the Timberwolves’ national TV schedule in 2015-16 is pretty interesting. The Timberwolves will open their season at Staples Center against the Los Angeles Lakers on ESPN as the second game of a season-opening doubleheader.
Not terribly surprising, especially considering the game will feature the 2015 NBA Draft’s top two selections in Towns and D’Angelo Russell of the Lakers.
The official Minnesota Timberwolves website released a post with the entire Timberwolves 2015-16 schedule information. According to the article, the Timberwolves will play 12 national TV games this season (5 if you don’t count NBATV games). For comparison, the Cavaliers and Warriors each have 25 national TV games, excluding NBATV broadcasts.
The Timberwolves’ nationally televised games include:
- October 28th @ Lakers (ESPN)
- November 12th vs. Warriors (TNT)
- December 15th vs. Nuggets (NBATV)
- January 8th vs. Cavaliers (ESPN)
- January 15th @ Thunder (ESPN)
- January 19th @ Pelicans (NBATV)
- January 25th @ Cavaliers (NBATV)
- January 31st @ Trail Blazers (NBATV)
- February 2nd @ Lakers (NBATV)
- February 3rd @ Clippers (ESPN)
- February 28th @ Mavericks (NBATV)
- March 8th vs. Spurs (NBATV)
Overall, this is a small step up from last season for the Wolves. Last season, the Wolves had a number of NBATV games as well as a few ESPN games. This year, the Wolves get to play on TNT against the defending champion Golden State Warriors. If the Wolves can take that victory (the Wolves took the Warriors down to the wire twice last season), NBA fans across the country will start to take notice.
As the Wolves’ young core grows and develops over the years, they will surely begin to get an increased number of nationally televised games. The more publicity a team has, the more national TV games a team will have.
Aside from the Knicks and the Lakers, winning is the best way to gain publicity for NBA teams. Over time, with all of the young talent on the Wolves roster, there’s no doubt that the Wolves will soon be playing on TNT or ABC every week.
Stay tuned to Dunking With Wolves for more analysis of the 2015-16 schedule release.
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