5 Must-Watch Games For Minnesota Timberwolves in 2013
5 Can't Miss Minnesota Timberwolves Games
Hardcore Minnesota Timberwolves fans will no doubt watch every game, but some games are clearly more exciting or more important to the team. As the Timberwolves look to make the playoffs this year, every result is important in an NBA Western Conference that is loaded with top-tier teams. In the early part of the year, the Timberwolves will play several teams that they may face in the playoffs, or may be battling for a playoff spot against come spring 2014.
Historically, the Timberwolves have matched up well with some of the better Western Conference teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs, playing close games in many season series. As the Timberwolves enter the season at close to full strength with more experienced young stars, many eagerly anticipate their tough matchups to get an accurate look at just how good the team is.
Since the Timberwolves have been out of the playoffs for nearly 10 years now, they don’t exactly have a current rival. In the Kevin Garnett days, they lost two series to both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Spurs. While both of these teams have retained their biggest stars from those days in Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan respectively, the Wolves and the rest of the league have changed so drastically since then that it’s hard to call these teams rivals.
The current Timberwolves squad has a new identity and will look to form new rivalries as they become a relevant, competitive team for the first time in years. Watch these five games to see the Wolves take on some of the best teams in the NBA who may become legitimate Minnesota's rivals in the years to come.
5. Los Angeles Clippers, November 11
The Los Angeles Clippers are a fun matchup for the Timberwolves because both teams have outstanding point guards and power forwards. Ricky Rubio vs. Chris Paul is an epic matchup of two of the best traditional point guards in the league. Last year, Paul definitely got the better of Rubio, who shot very poorly against the Clippers in the three games he played. The Wolves as a whole played poorly too and lost all four of their games against the Clippers last year. This year’s series should be a bit closer, and may preview a possible playoff series in 2014.
4. Golden State Warriors, November 6
The Golden State Warriors established themselves as one of the most watchable teams in the NBA last season. Their first game against the Timberwolves this season should prove to be highly exciting. Neither team is great defensively, so their games should be high-scoring affairs. The Warriors swept the season series last year. Love played them just once last season and shot poorly, but pulled down 15 rebounds and still scored 15 points. He should be better this year as Warriors power forward David Lee is one of the worst defensive forwards in the league. In Love’s last healthy season, he averaged 32.5 points and 14 rebounds against the Warriors, and his numbers against them this year should be similar.
3. Brooklyn Nets, November 22
While these teams play in different conferences and likely won't face each other in the playoffs, this game marks Kevin Garnett's return to Minnesota for the first time as a Brooklyn Nets player. Watching Garnett match up against the Timberwolves’ new franchise big man Kevin Love is always entertaining. It will also be the first time many Timberwolves fans get to see the new-look Brooklyn Nets in action with their newest additions. NBA fans everywhere are excited to see how Garnett and Paul Pierce will mesh with the Nets' already-loaded lineup.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder, November 1
A Ricky Rubio vs. Russell Westbrook matchup has the potential to be a great point guard duel. Unfortunately, Westbrook will sit this game out as he recovers from injury, but the game should still be plenty exciting. Last year, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Timberwolves split their series two games to two, and Kevin Love missed all four matches. The Timberwolves may take the season series this year, and the two teams may end up having a playoff series as well as many predict the Thunder to earn a high playoff seed and the Timberwolves to earn a low seed.
1. San Antonio Spurs, December 4
The Minnesota Timberwolves have played the San Antonio Spurs twice in the playoffs and have a chance to meet up with them again this postseason. Kevin Love and Tim Duncan are widely regarded as the best power forwards playing right now, and Duncan will be remembered as the greatest of all time. Love wants to be remembered the same way, and a great way to establishing that reputation would be some amazing play against Duncan in an important series. The two teams split their regular season series last year, but every game was decided by 10 points or more. The December 4 game will be played in Mexico City, which could be interesting. Their other two games this season will take place in San Antonio, so Wolves fans won’t get to see the Spurs in person unless the teams do meet in the playoffs.