After almost six months of waiting, meaningful Minnesota Timberwolves basketball is finally back in the Twin Cities.
The season kicked off in bittersweet fashion on Tuesday night, with the Wolves falling to the San Antonio Spurs in a surprisingly fun opening night fixture 112-108. With Jimmy Butler back in the fold, Minnesota looked a lot more competitive than they did during their dismal preseason run, even with Karl-Anthony Towns shooting just six field goals and fouling out in his season debut.
Minnesota pushed the Spurs all the way to the final buzzer, with a Jimmy Butler triple tying up the game before Gregg Popovich’s new man DeMar DeRozan clinched the victory with a pretty floater. Derrick Rose had a chance to get Minnesota into overtime, but luck didn’t fall their way, which just so happened to be the theme of the summer.
Now, as they put the loss behind them, they return to Target Center with hopes of opening their win account for the season. Standing in their way will be the Cleveland Cavaliers, who look far less formidable without LeBron James propping them up. Last season’s runners-up also stumbled in their opening match-up, losing 116-104 in Toronto to the Raptors.
James may have bolted to the Los Angeles Lakers after 2017-18’s Finals loss, but former Timberwolves franchise player Kevin Love is still in town. The five-time All-Star made just five of his 18 field goal attempts in his first game of the season, but he will undoubtedly be excited to return to Minnesota as a number one option.
Another man who is always pumped for this particular tilt is Andrew Wiggins, who was traded from Cleveland before he played a single NBA game back in 2014. The 23-year-old has often been criticized for his laid back on-court demeanor and wavering work ethic, but his previous performances against the Cavs have been consistently fiery.
Throw in the potential home crowd booing of Jimmy Butler, and this game has the makings of an exciting affair.
Injuries: Justin Patton (foot)
Injuries: JR Smith (Elbow, questionable)
Our friends at Fear The Sword have the Cavs side of things covered for you.
Prediction: Wolves 118, Cavs 110
Canis Prediction Record: 0-1
Join us here to discuss the game. Go Wolves!