Timberwolves ready to surprise NBA

The Timberwolves open the season Monday night at Target Center as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder. Expectations aren't that of a playoff team, but the likes of Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams and JJ Barea is creating a buzz around town that hasn't existed since the Kevin Garnett era.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The NBA season officially begins Christmas Day. The Timberwolves open the season the day after as they welcome Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder to Target Center. Excitement for the season might be at an all-time high, thanks to the arrivals of Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams.

It's rare that the No. 2 pick in the draft is overshadowed by any other player on the team, but that's exactly what Derrick Williams is experiencing. Rubio's arrival, along with the free-agent signing of JJ Barea, should create an exciting back-court for the Wolves. Both are now healthy after missing Wednesday's pre-season finale with minor injuries.

There is a lot of pressure on Rubio. It's been two-years since he was drafted, and the expectations are sky-high. Fans are hoping the Spanish Sensation was worth the wait.

If you want to go see Rubio and the Wolves play in the season-opener Monday night, you better act fast. A report on Friday indicated that only 800-tickets remained. It could be the team's first sellout since the 2007-'08 season-opener.

Off the court the team's leader, Kevin Love will be receiving a lot of attention. Love is a free-agent at the end of the season, and he's already being asked questions about re-signing with Minnesota. Love, however, says he's focused on making the playoffs.

The Wolves roster needs to be finalized by Saturday night. One player not making the team is Bonzi Wells. The 35-year old was cut Friday.

President of basketball operations David Kahn believes the team's roster is filled with talented, young players. While Kahn won't put a timetable on the Wolves becoming successful, he does hope the team makes a steady rise to the top of the league.

Next Up

Irv Cross

NFL Pro-Bowler, Twin Cities broadcaster Irv Cross dies at 81

Cross was a Pro Bowl cornerback, but his biggest impact was made after his career.

snow

Here's how much snow fell in Minnesota on Sunday

Some localized areas saw more than expected.

Lindsay Guentzel

For The Week: What's harder than making a meal plan? Sticking to it!

Lindsay Guentzel says you shouldn't give up on your meal planning routines.

snow, plow

Winter storm warnings issued as snow system shifts in Minnesota

The worst of the snow will now hit further north, affecting areas including St. Cloud and the I-94 corridor.

Matt Dumba

Matt Dumba beats the clock to give Wild sixth straight win

Dumba scored as overtime came to a close for another Wild victory.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Bradley Beal terrorizes Timberwolves in loss to Wizards

Beal and the Wizards handed the Wolves their seventh straight defeat.

Marcus Carr / Gopher basketball

Gophers tourney hopes take another blow with loss to Nebraska

Marcus Carr scored a career-high 41 points, but Minnesota is still winless on the road.

Related

Forbes: Timberwolves worst NBA team for the money

Forbes says the Minnesota Timberwolves -- despite the solid play this year of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio -- are still the the NBA’s worst team for the money over the past five years

Timberwolves will be in express mode to prepare for shortened NBA season

If NBA players and owners approve their new labor deal, it will trigger a busy month of preparation for a shortened season. The T-Wolves will be breaking in a few new players as well as a new coaching staff. It's looking like December 26th could be their opening night.

Rubio, Williams both make NBA All-Rookie teams

Minnesota Timberwolves rookies Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams are in select company. Both have been named to the league's All-Rookie squads. Rubio is on the All-Rookie First Team, while Williams made the second team.