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.

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.

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