The Minnesota Timberwolves may be an improved team this season, but their early schedule is not to be taken lightly. Unlike the 2022-23 NBA season schedule that opened with a smorgasbord of NBA teams that appeared to be embroiled in rebuild years, the Timberwolves are taking on some of the best teams in the NBA to start the 2023-24 NBA season.
The season opener pits the Timberwolves (42-40, 5-0 preseason on the road against the Toronto Raptors (41-41, 4-0 preseason) in a surprisingly important season opener. How so? A win places the Timberwolves instantly into the arena of ‘NBA teams to watch,’ due to the fact that a road win in Toronto is never an easy task.
This game is made even more challenging by the fact that the Timberwolves will be without starting small forward Jaden McDaniels, an unexpected setback that will complicate the rotations and lineup for the Timberwolves in their 2023-24 season debut.
Are the Timberwolves more competitive this season?
The belief so far is that the Timberwolves boast a more competitive team right out of the gates over the team that started off last season awkwardly and a bit unpolished. That mirage will dissipate at the moment that this Timberwolves team begins to struggle.
Whether fair or not, the Minnesota Timberwolves simply cannot afford another slow start to the season. That is true for the team no matter how difficult the schedule is laid out to open the 2023-24 NBA season. Ultimately, the same Timberwolves team that managed to boast winning records against some of the best NBA teams last season must find ways to repeat that success this year.
So how do the Timberwolves pull off a road win in this one? We have come up with three KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to ensure that the Wolves win Game 1. They are: