Looking over the Timberwolves schedule there are a few different elements to examine.
The first of which is the back-to-back-to-back games, that each team has to play at least once. It was reported before the schedules were released that each team would have one b-t-b-t-b games and some teams would have up to three b-t-b-t-b games. That however, is not true. There are actually no teams that have to play three sets of back-to-back-to-back games, but of course, the TWolves are one of the teams that gets to play two different sets.
All in all there are 66 games in this shortened NBA season. Let's take a look at, division and conference games. Obviously, being a Western Conference team, the majority of the Timberwolves' games will be versus conference teams. In the Eastern Conference, there are only three teams that the Timberwolves face twice: the Bobcats (home in Feb. & away in Mar.), the Pistons (home in Jan. & away in Apr.) and the Pacers (home in Feb. & away in Apr.). Against the Eastern powerhouses: Hawks, Celtics, Bulls, Heat, Knicks & Orlando (assuming they retain DH)--the TWolves will only play them (all home except; away vs. ATL & ORL).
There are six teams from the Western Conference that the Minnesota Timberwolves face four times: the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies & Sacramento Kings. All other teams in the Western Conference, the Wolves will play three times.
Ricky Rubio will get his first taste of the NBA against point guards: Russell Westbrook (OKC), Brandon Jennings (MIL), Mario Chalmers (MIA), Jason Kidd (DAL) & Tony Parker (SAS).
The Timberwolves' first back-to-back-to-back games come January 8th, 9th & 10th (@WAS, @TOR, vs. CHI) and the second comes February 28th, 29th & March 1st (@LAC, @LAL, @PHO). At least, for the second set, the games are all very close together--geographically. The Wolves also have sixteen back-to-back games scattered throughout each month.
The TWolves may have one of the toughest schedules in the NBA, though every fan is saying that about there team right now. To make the case: the Wolves kick off the season versus six straight playoff teams, they play Chicago at the end of there first b-t-b-t-b, they have just two strings of games at home that last longer than two games and they have a grueling 7-game road trip in March featuring (in order); Phoenix, Utah, LALakers, Sacramento, Golden State, San Antonio & Oklahoma City!
A little pre-training camp prediction for the first five games (not preseason). First game vs. Oklahoma City Thunder at the Target Center: Minnesota wins 103-96. Second game vs. the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center. Minnesota wins 96-84. Third game vs. the Miami Heat at the Target Center. Minnesota loses 106-87. Fourth game vs. Dallas Mavericks at the Target Center. Minnesota loses 97-93. Fifth game vs. the San Antonio Spurs at the Target Center. Minnesota wins 91-84. This is really just for fun, obviously after we get a chance to see the Wolves in action in the preseason vs. the Bucks, this is likely subject to change, but I'm keeping this for reference later, so I can hopefully say, told ya so!
OTHER NOTES: Former TWolves GM/Head Coach Kevin McHale--now head coach of the Houston Rockets (current Wolves coach--Adelman's former team), will face the Wolves four times in Jan./Feb........The Wolves will play thirteen division games, four against the Nuggets and three apiece against the Thunder, Jazz & Blazers
That's all for now, hopefully this wasn't too boring or dense for you. Stay tuned these next few days as we'll be updating the site with news from training camp (begins Dec. 9), free agency, trade rumors and preseason gameday previews! Thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!