On Monday afternoon the NBA released each team’s schedule for the 2019-20 season.
The schedule makers didn’t do the Wolves many favors with their slate. The team will open up their season on the road in Brooklyn and then a road tilt with the Hornets before the home opener against Miami. The Wolves will play six games against Eastern Conference foes before their first game against a Western Conference opponent.
The Wolves’ don’t have a very long home stand during the course of the season. Their longest is three games (there are six of those) and the longest road trip is six games. They also have three four-game road trips.
Here are six Wolves’ games to circle on the calendar during the 2019-20 season:
Home opener vs Miami, October 27
The NBA set up the Wolves with a storyline to open up the home portion of the season. Jimmy Butler returns to town for the second time – and with a second team – since the Wolves traded him away to the Philadelphia 76ers last November. Butler changed teams via a sign-and-trade this summer, but that won’t matter to fans in the Twin Cities. The Heat as a team don’t necessarily bring tons of buzz to opposing arenas these days, but Butler certainly will help to make this a home opener to remember.
vs Memphis, December 1
Tyus Jones spent the first four seasons of his NBA career with the Timberwolves after growing up near the Twin Cities. The Wolves elected to not match the offer sheet that Memphis extended to him this summer, meaning that he was free to go. This reunion should be a much more pleasant one than that of Butler on opening night, but it will be an interesting night inside Target Center, to say the least. Aside from Jones, this will be the first look at No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant as this is the only time Memphis will come to town during the season.
vs LA Clippers, December 13
The Clippers went from a scrappy underdog in last season’s playoffs to instant title favorites in a five-minute stretch this summer. This past April they found a way to push the Golden State Warriors to six games in the first round of the playoffs. Then, in the early hours of a July morning, they added Kawhi Leonard via free agency and received Paul George via trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Clippers will make two visits to Target Center during the season, with this being the first.
vs New Orleans, December 18
Despite being a few days after the game against the Clippers, it’s the next game on the schedule for Minnesota. The Wolves will certainly be well-rested when the new look Pelicans come to town. Their roster was overhauled this offseason after trading Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. Oh, and they happen to have the No. 1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson on the roster, too. Williamson is the most hyped phenom that the NBA has had since LeBron James came into the league way back in 2003. This will be the first of two visits to Target Center for the Pelicans.
vs Denver, January 20
There’s been a bit of a rivalry between Karl-Anthony Towns and Nikola Jokic ever since the two entered the league back in 2016. Last season the Nuggets finished with the second-best record in the Western Conference and Jokic found himself as an All-NBA player. This game promises to be an exciting one, just as every other game featuring these two seems to be.
at Utah, March 20
The Utah Jazz were a team that put themselves into position to be a Western Conference contender with the acquisition of Mike Conley Jr. from the Memphis Grizzlies early this summer. The Jazz will also be catching the Wolves on the final game of their season-long six game road trip. Utah is a tough place to play, regardless, but this one will be a test for the Wolves.
vs Los Angeles Lakers, March 30
LeBron James and Anthony Davis only make one trip to Target Center next season, which is certainly worth circling. The Lakers will look much different than they did last season after trading for Davis. They’ve transformed themselves from a lottery team to one with NBA Finals hopes. The Lakers are one of four Western Conference teams that the Wolves will only play three times (Memphis, Golden State, New Orleans).