Minnesota Timberwolves Season Opener Preview


There is an excitement at Target Center for the Minnesota Timberwolves 25th season opener that hasn’t been there in a long time. After watching everything from the draft to the preseason there is a word that is being whispered that hasn’t been brought up in nine years, and that word is, ‘playoffs’.

Oct 24, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) gets defended by Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) during the first quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolves finally have a healthy Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love. They have also acquired players such as Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer and Ronny Turiaf, and managed to retain Nikola Pekovic to round out the Wolves lineup.

After injuries derailed the team last season, the Wolves are crossing its fingers, hoping they will be able to stay healthy and make a run at the Western Conference playoffs.

And all that starts tonight against the Orlando Magic. The Magic earned the No. 2 pick after trading Dwight Howard before the 2012-13 season. With that pick, they selected highly-touted Indiana guard Victor Oladipo. The Wolves—like many teams—seemed to be fans of Oladipo’s game, but his stock rose too high during the Draft workouts.

An interesting thing to watch for is who Coach Rick Adelman starts at the small forward position. Throughout the preseason, he’s gone back and forth between Corey Brewer and Derrick Williams. Wednesday’s game won’t decide who will play there all season, but it will give Minnesota fans a look at what Adelman’s ideal rotation looks like.

The last matchup between Orlando and Minnesota was back on Dec. 20, 2012. The Wolves fell 102-93 in Orlando.

Glen Davis finished with 28 points and shot 13-of-17 from the field. But with Davis recovering from offseason foot surgery, the power forward isn’t going to be an issue for the Wolves.

Kevin Love led Minnesota with 23 points to go along with 15 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic also had a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Andrei Kirilenko (now with Nets) scored 13 points and had six assists. Luke Ridnour (now with Bucks) finished with 11 and both J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham scored 10 off the bench. This was the second matchup between the two teams during the 2012-13 season. Minnesota won the first game 90-75 at the Target Center.