2. Memphis Grizzlies
After going to the NBA playoffs in back-to-back years, the Minnesota Timberwolves are starting to rack up some rivalries with teams they have faced in the postseason. A year before giving the Denver Nuggets their hardest battle of the postseason, the Timberwolves were a few minutes away from having a chance to eliminate the Memphis Grizzlies in 2022.
Anthony Edwards has gone on record saying that he believes they handed the series to Memphis. He is not far off with that statement, as Minnesota blew double digit leads in three of their four losses in the series. A matchup that featured two young and inexperienced squads was bound to be every bit as chaotic as it was, but it was still a winnable matchup for the Wolves.
That is part of the reason why last year’s play-in game was so crucial. Had the Timberwolves defeated the Lakers and earned the seventh seed, they would have set up a rematch with the Grizzlies in the first round. Carrying with them the sting of letting the 2022 matchup slip away, one would have to have felt good about Minnesota’s chances.
Even with Ja Morant set to miss the start of next season with his suspension, the Timberwolves and Grizzlies would still be an excellent pairing for opening night.