The NBA schedule was released on Monday evening. There are plenty of matchup breakdowns, predictions and planning going on right now. Our Kyle Ratke broke down his top-10 homes games of the 2017-18 season for the Timberwolves.
10. Friday, Oct. 27 vs. Oklahoma City, 7 p.m., NBA TV
This will be the first time Minnesota fans will be able to see Paul George in a Thunder jersey. How will the Thunder look with two ball-dominant players in George and Russell Westbrook? And more importantly, will Steven Adams grow his beard back?
Seeing George and Jimmy Butler go up against each other should be fun.
This is also the Friday before Halloween so you should absolutely come to the game in some sort of weird costume. Maybe dress up in a Jimmy Butler jersey, or maybe a Karl-Anthony Towns or Andrew Wiggins jersey. How wild would that be?!
(Pro Shop, I expect a portion of sales for this game.)
9. Sunday, April 1 vs. Utah, 6 p.m.
This the closest home game to my birthday (April 4). So that’s really all I’ve got.
8. Wednesday, Nov. 22 vs. Orlando, 7 p.m.
This is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, so for all of you young college folks who are back in town, come on down! It’s a chance to watch other people exercise before you consumer 8,188 calories the next day.
(STAY AWAY FROM THE CRANBERRY SAUCE!)
I don’t know if the Magic will be any good this season. If I had to guess, probably not. But they should be interesting. I think Jonathan Isaac has a chance to be a good player eventually. It’s also a big year for Aaron Gordon, a guy we are all waiting for to make the leap.
7. Thursday, March 8 vs. Boston, 7 p.m., TNT
Did you know the Celtics earned the No. 1 seed in the East last season, not the Cavaliers? And that was before the team added Swiss Army Knife Gordon Hayward. The Celtics might not have a bona-fide superstar, but with Hayward, Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford, there’s plenty of firepower. But the Wolves have plenty on their end, too. With this game being towards the end of the season, there’s a good chance both teams are fighting for (ready, Wolves fans?) playoff position.
6. Monday, January 1 vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 7 p.m.
There’s a chance you aren’t feeling great on this day. But you probably have the day off and hours to recover. Lonzo Ball is the league’s most-anticipated rookie this season. It’s Ball’s first trip to the Target Center and will be the second time the Wolves play the Lakers in a six-day span.
Is this game really about Lonzo, though? Or is it about the possibility that LaVar could show up? I vote LaVar.
5. Tuesday, Feb. 13 vs. Houston, 7 p.m.
If you’re a basketball fan and in a relationship, this is a great “gift” for your significant other that is not at all selfish or “all about you” on Valentine’s Day. This is about US!
And Chris Paul and James Harden vs. Butler, Wiggins and Towns.
4. Friday, Oct. 20 vs. Utah, 7 p.m.
This game has plenty of things to be excited about.
- It’s the first event at the newly-renovated Target Center. #Rails
- It’s Minnesota’s first home game of the 2017-18 season, which is probably the most anticipated season from the Wolves since 2003-04.
- Ricky Rubio, who the Wolves traded to the Jazz this offseason, makes his return to the Target Center after spending his first six seasons with the Wolves.
3. Saturday, Feb. 24 vs. Chicago, 8 p.m.
We covered this yesterday in a piece that you definitely already read.
But, to paraphrase the 1,000-word piece: It’s former Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson going up against their old squad. And it’s the first time Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn return to the Target Center since being traded to the Bulls on draft night. It’s a rivalry that should be a thing considering Chicago is only a six-hour drive.
2. Monday, January 8 vs. Cleveland, 7 p.m.
When you get the chance to watch the league’s best player live, you do it. And even though LeBron James has been around since 1986, he’s still the NBA’s best player. Watching Butler and James go up against each other, along with Wiggins and Towns, should be fun.
Fun fact: Butler was 4-0 against the Cavaliers in 2016-17 while Wiggins has averaged 29.8 points per game in six matchups against the team that drafted him.
Also, Kevin Love returns to the Target Center which has surprisingly become not really a big story with this matchup anymore.
1. Sunday, March 11 vs. Golden State, 2:30 p.m., ABC
This kind of goes without saying. It’s the Warriors, the defending champs, and it’s their only game at the Target Center during the 2017-18 season. Plus, this is a matinee Sunday game on ABC. You can go to brunch, watch the Wolves upset the defending champions at the Target Center and still have your Sunday night available! What a day!