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Timberwolves Playing 2015-16 Season for Flip, Starting Off 1-0

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The Wolves opened up their season with a last-minute win over LA after saying good-bye to their coach Sunday.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Timberwolves News: #ForFlip

There's no denying this week has been nothing less than emotional for the Minnesota Timberwolves. After losing Flip Saunders Sunday morning to complications during his battle with cancer, the team had very little turnaround time before its season opener Wednesday.

Several Wolves players talked to the media following Saunders' passing, and the general theme was the same: the 2015-16 season will be played for him. In a practical sense, the team will wear commemorative patches on their jerseys for the entirety of the season. Special shooting shirts will also be worn during the month of November.

You can bet the Wolves will be searching for every win they can this season, and the drive behind them is more personal now. They want to win in Flip's honor.

Wednesday night's victory over the Lakers definitely got them off to the right start.

After trailing by double digits in the third quarter, Minnesota made a comeback to take the lead from its opponents. The Wolves actually held a 111-102 advantage with 2:11 remaining, but they allowed the Lakers to make a 9-1 run and take things down to the wire. In the end, though, Minnesota walked away with the win ... and a career night from Ricky Rubio.

If there was a night for Rubio to have a breakout game, it was Wednesday. The point guard said the team had "lost a dad" earlier in the week, and he certainly used that emotion on the court opening night. Rubio exploded early on, ending the evening with 28 points, 14 assists and only a single turnover. Sure, it was just one game, but if Rubio stays healthy and continues to turn a corner offensively, he's going to be a very real threat to opposing teams throughout the league.

Minnesota will play in Denver tonight before its home opener against Portland. On Monday evening, the team will play a video tribute to Saunders prior to tipoff, which is set for 7 p.m. CST. You can view the full details for Monday here.


Other Basketball News

Pelicans Waive Nate Robinson
Yesterday morning, the New Orleans announced that it had released Nate Robinson. The 5'9" point guard is in his 11th NBA season and has played for nine different teams during his career. Robinson signed with the Pelicans on Oct. 16 and averaged 8.8 points and 2.5 assists over four preseason games.

Austin Rivers Already in Trouble
According to Bleacher Report, the 23-year-old threw a seat cushion into the stands Wednesday night. The cushion struck a fan in the face, and that woman complained of "optical discomfort." The NBA is investigating the situation and will likely hand out some form of discipline... not a great start for Rivers.

Fred Hoiberg Wins 1st NBA Game
In his debut as an NBA head coach, Fred Hoiberg and his Bulls squad defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 97-95. A narrow victory though it was, finding a win over LeBron James and Co. to start the season has to feel good for Hoiberg.


Lindsey's Friday Flick Recommendation

I haven't gone out to see many new movies lately, but I did venture to Redbox with a friend earlier this week and ended up successful. Although, it's hard not to be successful with a Will Smith feature.

Focus

In this movie, Will Smith plays a professional con man who takes a beautiful "intern" under his wing to show her the ropes of manipulation and deceit. The film was entertaining as well as keeping you guessing throughout. Check out the trailer below, and happy weekending!