The Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday afternoon released their 2023-24 NBA season schedule, which you can view in its entirety below:
Let’s take a look at some of the notable aspects of the Timberwolves’ slate.
National TV Games
Minnesota has a total of ten games on national TV, with five on NBA TV, three on ESPN, and two on TNT. This is down from last year when the Wolves had a total of 16 games on national TV with nine of them being on either ESPN or TNT.
Seeing a decrease in these games this year for the Timberwolves is most likely due to their disappointing season last year, albeit due to injury. It is a bit surprising though that the Wolves have been given so few national TV games given Anthony Edwards would seem to be the exact type of player the NBA should try to spotlight as he enters his first season as a true superstar.
The ten national TV games are the lowest number among any of the playoff teams from last season. Overall, the Wolves are 19th in most nationally televised games.
Travel and Rest
As with most seasons, the Wolves often finish near the top of the NBA in terms of total miles traveled given their nearest conference opponent is almost 800 miles away. This year is no different, as the Wolves will have the fourth most miles traveled this season, only behind the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, and Denver Nuggets.
While the Wolves have the travel disadvantage, they do have an advantage in terms of rest days. Minnesota is tied for the fewest back-to-back games in the NBA with 13, which is one less than they had last year.
In total, the Timberwolves will have the rest advantage over their opponent in 23 games, while having a rest disadvantage in only 13 of their games.
The Timberwolves have been given a gift with their schedule in terms of rest advantages— Jack Borman (@jrborman13) August 17, 2023
• 44 games
• Avg. proj. opp. win %: 52.6%
• 23 games
• Avg. proj. opp. win %: 49.1%
• 13 games
• Avg. proj. opp. win %*: 51.0%
Strength of Schedule
Last season, the Wolves had a very easy early schedule with six of the Timberwolves first seven games against teams that did not project to be playoffs teams. This year, their schedule difficulty is a lot more spread out throughout the year.
Our Jack Borman broke this down on Twitter earlier this afternoon:
The Wolves’ first third of the season looks to have a lot of tough opponents. In October and November, the Wolves only play one opponent, San Antonio, which projects to finish in the bottom three of their conference.
Once the Timberwolves get into the middle third of their season, it lines up to be a very easy stretch as they play a lot of opponents that do not project to be playoff teams while also having the rest advantage in many of these games. This is an area of the schedule where the Wolves will look to pile up wins.
In final third of the season, Minnesota’s SOS should pick up in terms of opponent strength, although many teams may look very different at that point in the season than they do now.
The Wolves begin their season with five of their first seven games at home. Last year, they also had five of their first seven games at home but were not able to capitalize on the early home games, going 4-3 against sub-par opponents. This year, they will look to get off to a hot start at Target Center.
The Wolves will also finish their season with a lot of home games as after the All-Star break in mid-February, the Wolves have 17 of their final 27 games and 10 of their final 14 games at home.
The downside is the Wolves also have the most back-to-back games after the All-Star break with seven. The Wolves will hope that the home-heavy schedule outweighs the lack of rest games down the stretch of the season.
Overall, Wolves fans should be happy with how the schedule shook out for the Timberwolves. They have a lower number of back-to-backs and and a higher number of rest days before games compared to their opponents.
The high number of miles traveled is always a concern, but at least they aren’t first in miles like they have been in other seasons.
While the schedule is tough early on, if they can weather that storm, the Timberwolves should set themselves up for a great season with an easy schedule in the middle third of the season and a very home-heavy schedule after the All-Star Break.