Wolves better win early because after Black Friday the schedule gets nasty

The first 15 games look good on paper, but after Thanksgiving the Wolves have a daunting stretch of games.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

A lot can change from year to year, but the Timberwolves should have a chance to start the season on the right note with what looks like a fairly soft schedule between Wednesday's opener at Memphis and Black Friday in November.

Five of the first seven games are on the road (Memphis, Sacramento, Oklahoma City, Brooklyn, Orlando) with a pair of home games tucked in against Memphis and Denver. Only Memphis and Oklahoma City rank higher in ESPN's preseason power rankings (Minnesota is 12th), and both underwent big changes in the off-season.

OKC lost Kevin Durant and gained Victor Oladipo. Memphis re-signed Mike Conley and added Chandler Parsons, but those two and big man Marc Gasol are coming off injury-shortened seasons.

Sacramento, Brooklyn, Orlando and Denver aren't expected to contend for the playoffs this season.

The next eight games leading up to Black Friday get a little tougher, but not overwhelming.

  • vs. Clippers
  • vs. Lakers
  • vs. Bobcats
  • vs. 76ers
  • @ Grizzlies
  • vs. Celtics
  • @ Pelicans
  • @ Suns

Again, only the Clippers, Grizzlies and Celtics are getting better preseason reviews than Minnesota – and both the Clippers and Celtics games are at Target Center. Plus, the Clippers will be on the second end of a road back-to-back with the Thunder.

Minnesota's only back-to-back dates in the first 15 games are Nov. 8-9 at Brooklyn and Orlando and Nov. 12-13 at home against the Clippers and Lakers.

It's probably critical that Minnesota gets off to a hot start because the stretch of games from late-November into December is brutal.

  • @ Warriors
  • vs. Jazz
  • vs. Knicks
  • @ Knicks
  • @ Bobcats
  • vs. Spurs
  • @ Raptors
  • vs. Pistons
  • vs. Warriors
  • @ Bulls
  • vs. Rockets

Among those teams, only the Knicks are considered a non-play0ff contender – and that might be untrue considering the Eastern Conference is generally weaker than the West.

Next Up

storm, severe weather

'Particularly dangerous situation' issued by NWS as potential derecho nears

Storms could produce damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes.

Flickr - Minnesota state senate chamber - Matt Lewis

Calls for investigation after former DFL staffer details sexual harassment

Cynthia Callais provided her account to the Minnesota Reformer.

Motzko and Schuneman

Driver in Orono crash that killed Motzko, Schuneman is in custody

The 51-year-old reportedly turned himself into police Wednesday.

Miguel Sano

Twins smash 7 homers, still lose to Tigers

It was a wild afternoon at Target Field.

Pixabay - school - classroom

Decision on school mask mandates will be up to local districts

It will not come from the health or education departments, an official said Wednesday.

spices recall

McCormick recalling some spice mixes sold in Minnesota

The company issued the voluntary recall over possible salmonella risk.

the mayo clinic - edit

Mayo Clinic named No. 1 on 'Best Hospitals' list

It's the sixth year in a row the Rochester hospital has been named the best of the best.

36262 Ottertail Rd, Battle Lake, Minnesota - September 2009

Bystander on dock sees teen struggling in water, jumps in to save him

The teen kept going under the surface near a dam on Otter Tail Lake.

castaway club camp

Cluster of COVID-19 cases tied to camp in western Minnesota

Ten cases have been reported among staff, report states.

Screen Shot 2021-07-28 at 12.16.13 PM

Rodgers pummels Packers front office in viral press conference

"The rules are the same for most people, but every now and then there are some outliers."

Pexels - mother child mask covid

MDH urging that all wear face masks, 12+ get vaccinated for upcoming school year

State health officials revealed their COVID-19 recommendations for 2021-22.

sunfish 1

Gallery: Aspen-inspired estate on private lake is yours for $4.95M

Each bedroom has its own bathroom. And there are four laundry rooms.

Related

Wolves better win early because after Black Friday the schedule gets nasty

The first 15 games look good on paper, but after Thanksgiving the Wolves have a daunting stretch of games.

Better fit for the Wolves: Isaac or Markkanen?

Which players are falling where the Wolves are most likely to pick in the draft?

Better fit for the Wolves: Isaac or Markkanen?

Which players are falling where the Wolves are most likely to pick in the draft?

It could get worse before it gets better for the Wolves

The latest meltdown has the Wolves well below .500 with a gauntlet of a schedule ahead.

It could get worse before it gets better for the Wolves

The latest meltdown has the Wolves well below .500 with a gauntlet of a schedule ahead.

Dare we say, a winning streak is coming for the Wolves?

The schedule should allow the Wolves to climb closer to .500 over the next month.

Dare we say, a winning streak is coming for the Wolves?

The schedule should allow the Wolves to climb closer to .500 over the next month.

Believe it or not, the Wolves are trending towards getting hot

MInnesota's defense has improved dramatically over the last month, giving hope to a team that is only 4 games out of a playoff spot.