While the Minnesota Timberwolves may be aiming higher in the 2023-24 NBA season, there are other forces at work to ground them before they ever get off the ground. One such downwind is the fact that the Minnesota Timberwolves have a perilous 82-game schedule to navigate this season. Another fact is that the Timberwolves’ schedule is not exactly the type of setup for easy wins.
But let’s start with the fact that the Minnesota Timberwolves were a 2023 NBA Playoff team, and yet have five games televised on NBA-TV, and only five games nationally televised on either ESPN or TNT. That’s a bit shameful. After all, by anyone and everyone’s account, this Minnesota Timberwolves team found a solid starting five when the team acquired veteran PG Mike Conley Jr. at the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline.
And then there is the small matter of getting more than 29 games out of Timberwolves All-Star power forward Karl-Anthony Towns, which on its own merits should elevate the number of wins for the Wolves by five or more. So, if the conditions hold this season, the Minnesota Timberwolves could be a 45-to-50-win team and could be a solid berth for the 2024 NBA Playoffs.
And Adam Silver and the NBA programmers are simply not impressed. Five games on NBA TV. Five games to be shared between ESPN and TNT? That’s disappointing.
While the Minnesota Timberwolves may be a small market team, their entertainment appeal is quite universal. After all, this is the Timberwolves team that ended the 2022-23 NBA season with a bench brawl between C Rudy Gobert and F Kyle Anderson in a must-win game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Timberwolves won that game.
And this is the same team that was likely the toughest opponent against the NBA World Champion Denver Nuggets. The Timberwolves lost that Round 1 best-of-seven series in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, but put up an incredible fight.
The Timberwolves nearly won two games.
Finally, this is the same team that boasts one of the hottest rising stars in the NBA today in 22-year-old All-Star shooting guard Anthony Edwards. His teammate is the infamous All-Star power forward Karl-Anthony Towns, a player who fans love to hate, and who may be springboarding off an incredible performance in the 2023 FIBA WC competition to reclaim his place among the NBA elite.
And the Timberwolves star big man is on track to do exactly that.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are gonna do what the Wolves are gonna do. That is whether or not the Minnesota Timberwolves schedule includes a significant number of nationally televised games. But isn’t it just a bit ironic? 9 Minnesota Timberwolves are starring on international stages coinciding with the 2023 FIBA World Cup competition. Yet, those same Timberwolves stars are only nationally televised five times.
Could Adam Silver have been any crueler to the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 2023-24 schedule?
No, I don’t think so.