Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Schedule Release: Quick reaction to 2019-20 schedule

BROOKLYN, NY - JANUARY 03: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in action against Rondae Hollis-Jefferson #24 of the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - JANUARY 03: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in action against Rondae Hollis-Jefferson #24 of the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The NBA schedule release is like a mini-oasis in the desert of August. Here’s our quick reaction on the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2019-20 schedule.

If you forgot that Monday was basically a holiday on the NBA calendar, let us remind you that you can now start planning your fall and winter road trips.

For those of us who are transplanted Minnesota Timberwolves fans, the NBA schedule release is one of the best days of the post-free agency offseason. It’s time figure out which weekends could bring possible road trips to watch the Wolves.

But there’s something for everyone here. Yes, we know the Wolves will always play their divisional opponents four times, everyone in the Eastern Conference twice and all non-divisional West opponents either three or four times. But when the Wolves play each team matters, as well as the number of back-to-backs, and if the Wolves finish the year with tough divisional games or more of a cake walk.

Of course, it’s also fun to see when the Wolves will host Jimmy Butler, although they’re no longer his most recent ex. There are returns of other former Timberwolves, too: Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, most notably, and the guys who just left after last season, from Derrick Rose to Taj Gibson to Dario Saric.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The Wolves open on the road for the sixth-straight year. This time, it’s in Brooklyn, with their lone visit to Barclays Center on Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. CT.
  • After playing in Charlotte on Friday, Oct. 25, the Wolves will return to Target Center for their home opener on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat. Talk about an intriguing home opener…
  • Minnesota has a whopping four road trips of four games or more, including a six-gamer in March that will almost certainly be the toughest stretch on the schedule. More on that in a moment.
  • Conversely, the Wolves will have three six-game homestands.
  • Ricky Rubio’s first appearance as a Phoenix Sun will be on Saturday, Nov. 23. He’ll also visit Target Center on Tuesday, April 7.
  • Kevin Love’s lone showing in Minneapolis will be when the Cleveland Cavaliers visit Target Center on Saturday, Dec. 28 in the Wolves’ first home game after Christmas.
  • In a surprise to no one, the Timberwolves will not play on Christmas Day for a second consecutive year.
  • The Wolves will play 13 back-to-backs, which matches last year’s total.

While it’s admittedly quite early to decide what the toughest stretch of games will be, it looks like a safe bet that the six-game road trip from March 10 to 20 will be exceedingly difficult. Not only is it the longest period that the Timberwolves will be away from Target Center all season, take a look at this murderer’s row of opponents: Houston, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Portland, Phoenix, and Utah.

While Oklahoma City is unlikely to be a playoff team, they do still have Chris Paul on their roster — although they may not in a post-trade deadline world. Phoenix will probably be the worst team in the conference, but the other four contests are against certain playoff squads.

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We’ll hold off on an official wins total prediction for right now, but it’s coming soon. In the meantime, start planning your own road trips…