Good morning! The NBA released its 2015-16 schedule last night. Here's the full schedule. Below are some of the most common completely schedule-based details we can analyze.
The Wolves have fourteen back-to-backs:
Nov 9/10: @ATL, CHA
Nov 12/13: GSW, @IND
Nov 17/18: @MIA, @ORL
Dec 15/16: DEN, @NYK
Dec 20/21: @BKN, @BOS
Dec 30/31: UTA, @DET
Jan 12/13: OKC, @HOU
Jan 19/20: @NOP, @DAL
Feb 2/3: @LAL, @LAC
Feb 19/20: @MEM, NYK
Feb 27/28: @NOP, @DAL
Mar 4/5: @MIL, BKN
Mar 7/8: @CHA, SAS
Mar 25/26: @WSH, UTA
Timberwolves PR tweeted that the fourteen back-to-backs is the fewest of any team in the league, and is well below the league average of 17.8 (saw this here). Since Kevin Garnett is likely not to play in the second game of these instances, this is literally as good as this could have been, and for a team that has struggled with injuries as mightily as the Wolves have, this is a blessing. Also important: no second legs of back-to-backs in Denver. Not a single one!
However, the Wolves have two instances of four games in five nights:
Nov 9-13: @ATL, CHA, GSW, @IND
Mar 4-8: @MIL, BKN, @CHA, SAS
If the Wolves get through that first one injury-free in the third week of the season, I will be ecstatic. The two are spaced out well, and it will be good to get one of the two out of the way early.
National TV Games
The Wolves will play on non-Fox Sports North TV twelve times, with five of those on national TV:
Oct 28: @LAL, ESPN
Nov 12: GSW, TNT
Dec 15: DEN, NBA TV
Jan 8: CLE, ESPN
Jan 15: @OKC, ESPN
Jan 19: @NOP, NBA TV
Jan 25: @CLE, NBA TV
Jan 31: @POR, NBA TV
Feb 2: @LAL, NBA TV
Feb 3: @LAC, ESPN
Feb 28: @DAL, NBA TV
Mar 8: SAS, NBA TV
Those back-to-back ESPN games in January! And a TNT appearance, which they didn't receive at all last year!
There are a couple good options for most difficult sections of schedule. By month, here are the numbers of games against last season's playoff teams:
October: 0 of 2
November: 9 of 18 (8 of 18 if you swap POR for OKC in the playoffs)
December: 6 of 13 (5 of 13 swapping POR-OKC)
January: 9 of 16 (11 of 16 swapping POR-OKC)
February: 9 of 11
March: 10 of 15 (11 of 15 swapping POR-OKC)
April: 4 of 7 (3 of 7 swapping POR-OKC)
The entire middle of January is very strong, starting with the ESPN game against the Cavaliers on January 8: CLE, DAL, OKC, @HOU, @OKC. After that, one game against the Suns, then @NOP, @DAL, MEM, @CLE, OKC. That's ten of eleven games straight against some of the strongest teams in the west plus two against the Cavaliers.
March is the other monstrous month. The Wolves have their other four-in-five stretch from March 4-8, which ends with a game against the Spurs. Then, they have one of their two four game road trips: @OKC, @PHX, @MEM, @HOU. Then, they get to go home to play the champions on March 21.
Start of Season
There's also the start of the season. The Wolves' season opener, just as it did at summer league, will feature the two two picks in the draft, as the Wolves and Karl-Anthony Towns open at Staples Center against the Lakers and D'Angelo Russell on Friday, Oct. 28 on ESPN. The Wolves' first ten games of the season: @LAL, @DEN, POR, MIA, @CHI, @ATL, CHA, GSW, @IND, MEM.
Here are my two bold schedule takes: I think the Wolves win their first three games of the season, and I think they finish the first ten 5-5. And one hope, as I said on twitter earlier: I hope they absolutely eviscerate the Lakers on national TV in that opening game.
It's not music, but I was checking Youtube for my music for the morning, and this came up under the "Watch it again" section, and I can't not post this. Have an excellent morning.