After being tantalized (or annoyed) with the slow release of the upcoming NBA schedule via the Twitter accounts of Adrian Wojnarowski and others all day Wednesday, the full slate of the Timberwolves’ 2014-15 games was released by the team at 5:00 PM central. Here is a succinct rundown of a few particulars, first from the Wolves’ official website:
- The Wolves enjoy four four-game homestands: Nov. 19-26 (NY, SA, SAC, MIL), Dec. 8-14 (GS, POR, OKC, LAL), Jan. 1-7 (SAC, UTA, DEN, PHO) and Feb. 28-Mar.7 (MEM, LAC, DEN, POR). Minnesota’s home schedule also includes two three-game homestands: Feb. 9-20 (ATL, GS, PHO) and Mar. 30-Apr. 3 (UTA, TOR, ORL).
- Minnesota has four four-game road trips: Dec. 23-30 (CLE, DEN, GS, UTA), Jan. 13-19 (IND, PHO, DEN, CHA), Mar. 9-15 (LAC, PHO, OKC, SA) and Apr. 7-11 (SAC, POR, LAL, GS).
- Minnesota will play on national television four times this season: Two times on NBA TV (Nov. 1 vs. Chicago, Apr. 10 at L.A. Lakers), and two times on ESPN (Nov. 12 vs. Houston in Mexico City, Jan. 7 vs. Phoenix).
- The Wolves will play 19 back-to-backs: nine away-away, seven away-home, two home-away and one home-home. Last year the Wolves had 20 back-to-back sets.
- The Wolves will open their regular-season slate on the road against Memphis on Wednesday, Oct. 29, the first time since the 2000-01 campaign the Wolves have opened a season away from Target Center. The Wolves are 15-10 in season openers, including 3-6 in season openers on the road. Minnesota opened the 2013-14 campaign with a 120-115 OT win over Orlando at Target Center.
- Minnesota will play each Western Conference opponent four times (two home, two away), with the exception of L.A. Clippers (one home, two away), Sacramento (two home, one away), Dallas (one home, two away), and Memphis (two home, one away). The Wolves will face off against each Eastern Conference team twice (one home, one away).
A few other dates/notes of importance, at least according to this blogger:
- Three of the four Western Conference teams the Wolves only have to face three times are very tough matchups for them: the Clippers, Mavericks and Grizzlies. So, that’s a positive.
- I was sort of bummed that Minnesota would be opening the season away from Target Center, until I noticed the above bullet point that revealed they haven’t started a season on the road since before George Walker Texas Ranger Bush was elected* President, so I have nothing to complain about.
- The Wolves play in Cleveland two days before Christmas, but Lebron, Kyrie and K. Love will be overlooking Minnesota in anticipation for their primetime holiday matchup with the Heat, so the Wolves will almost certainly win.** Timberwolves fans will have the chance to boo, not boo, or quietly mutter mean things in the direction of Kevin Love in person on January 31st, when the Cavs pay their one and only visit to the Target Center.*** He’ll be so rattled by the barely audible passive-aggressive murmuring that he’ll have a bad night and the Wolves will win that game, too. Plus, it’ll be the Andrew Wiggins revenge game. So, the schedule is all set up for Minnesota to sweep Cleveland this season****, which is cool.
- A brief overview of when some other big stars pay a visit to our great state:
|Derrick Rose||November 1st|
|Carmelo Anthony||November 19th|
|Boris Diaw and the Other Spurs||November 21st, January 10th|
|Stephen Curry and The Guy the Warriors Wouldn’t Part With For Kevin Love||December 8th, February 11th|
|Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook||December 12th, April 15th|
|Kobe Bryant||December 14th, March 25th|
|Dirk Nowitzki||January 21st|
|Anthony Davis||January 23rd, April 13th|
|Chris Paul and Blake Griffin||March 2nd|
- Only 40 games will be held at Target Center this season,***** because the league has decided to ride the coattails of last year’s successful trip to Mexico City by sending the Wolves back there for another home game this season, November 12th against the Rockets.
- Speaking of which, that Mexico City game is in the middle of what might be the toughest stretch of the season, travel-wise. At Brooklyn, then to Orlando and Miami for a back-to-back, then to Mexico City to play Houston, then to New Orleans and Dallas for a back-to-back. Yikes. Six games and nearly 7,000 miles of travel in 11 nights.
- Speaking of travel: If I were coming from out of town to watch the Wolves in person, I’d have December 8th through the 14th circled on my calendar. The Warriors, Blazers, Thunder and Lakers all pass through the Twin Cities that week. They might go 1-3, but as far as fun basketball and star power goes, it’s hard to beat that slate of games.
- The All-Star break will be eight days this season, which is an awesome idea, in my humble opinion.
- This has nothing to do with the schedule, but look at the picture at the top of the page. See how many muscles Ricky has made this offseason!
- October 29th is 77 days away. The home opener is 78 days away. The Return of Kevin Love Who Technically Hasn’t Been Traded Yet is 171 days away. Let the countdowns begin!
*Unless he wasn’t.
**Unless they don’t.
***Unless they reach the Finals.
****Unless they don’t.
*****Unless they make the playoffs!!!