The NBA is finally back! Along with that, the Minnesota Timberwolves (0-0) are also back, making their home debut tomorrow night against the Sacramento Kings (0-1).
Not an intriguing matchup to most, but Timberwolves fans have plenty to look forward to tomorrow night. A new look roster has Wolves fans talking playoffs, and their mix of young and veteran talent have the potential to live up to that hype.
After starting off the season great last year, the Timberwolves (26-40) ended the year in typical Wolves fashion, losing. Failing once again to make the playoffs, the Wolves were forced to make some moves, leading to the departure of players such as Michael Beasley, Darko Milicic, and Martell Webster.
But unlike recent years, management really revamped the team this offseason. The Wolves made huge splashes by signing potential star Brandon Roy, three point sniper Chase Budinger, big man Greg Stiemsma, and longtime vet Andrei Kirilenko. Slowly but surely, the Wolves seem to be making their climb back to the postseason and back to relevancy in the NBA.
While it won’t be easy, the Wolves can get off to a great start Friday in a game against a similarly sub-par Sacramento Kings team. Last season, the Kings (22-44) struggled throughout the year and never really played up to their potential as their young stars, Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins, continually struggled with consistency issues.
Throughout the year, Tyreke had flashes of being a top point guard in this league but never really found that consistency that defines great players. Although, he might have a hay day against this depleted Wolves guards. Being guarded by defenders such as JJ Barea and Luke Ridnour will surely not scare the former Rookie of the Year. He should get his 20-30 points, but the Wolves must focus on containing the rest of the team rather than trying to stop Evans.
Offensively, the Wolves must come out and make a low-post presence immediately. Nikola Pekovic can have his way with Cousins if he really focuses and demands the ball. Along with this, the Wolves need to get Brandon Roy going early in the game. Without Love, the Wolves will need to find someone that will demand the ball in key situations, and this player needs to be Roy. He has show that leadership in the preseason and will have to continue to lead as long as Love and Rubio are out.
If the Wolves can dominate the low-post, along with containing Tyreke and Cousins, they should win this game. Although, expect a gritty game with quite a few turnovers, and one team to pulling away late in the fourth.