Love and the Timberwolves will face the Heat on December 7.
The 2013-14 season should be fun for Minnesota Timberwolves fans because, well, the team might actually win more games than they lose.
Yes, that’s right: They might have a winning season. They could even make the playoffs and possibly even win a champ—okay, I’m not going to get ahead of myself here.
Still, it should be a good year.
Things are always more fun when there is something at stake. The 'Wolves get Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second game of the season and will see Kevin Garnett in a new uniform late in November.
It should be a blast all season long. Here are some highlights of the 2013-14 campaign.
Former Olympic and U.S. teammates Westbrook and Love are coming off injury in 2013-14.
Without a doubt, the Thunder will be chosen to win the Northwest Division again next year. Russell Westbrook is back (somebody tell Shabazz Muhammad which number he wears, please!) and Kevin Durant remains one of the best players in the game.
While some people may like the Denver Nuggets as the No. 2 team in the division, they arguably got worse. Most people aren’t sold on the Utah Jazz either, meaning Minnesota may be the second-best team in the Northwest on some people’s boards.
The Wolves have a chance early on to show the Thunder who’s boss. Kevin Love has to be on top of his game coming off of injury, Kevin Martin has to be integrated by then and Nikola Pekovic will have to be signed in order to pull this one off, but it’s possible.
I see the Timberwolves making a statement at home with a convincing victory over OKC in Minneapolis in Game 2 of the season.
He could have been in a Wolves uniform...It hurts. It hurts.
Also known as the We Could Have Had Stephen Curry Game, 'Wolves fans get a glimpse of a player the team chose Jonny Flynn over. While they would have to travel to Australia to see Flynn, Curry will be up close and personal in Minneapolis.
The Warriors are probably the most supported traditionally bad team in the league and had a breakthrough season last year. They’ll be looking to build off that in 2013-14 and probably will vie with the 'Wolves for playoff position.
Given that the 'Wolves easily could be a No. 4 or 5 seed and the Dubs play in the same division as the Los Angeles Clippers, this could be a preview of Round 1 of the Western Conference playoffs. Minnesota would be wise to mark its territory by winning this game in the Twin Cities.
In order to do so, the T'Wolves must shut down Mr. Curry. It will be a true test of their perimeter defense, a department the team struggled in last year. I say they rise to the occasion, shut down Curry and pick up the win here.
Former 'Wolves forward Garnett will be playing in Brooklyn next season.
Jay-Z may have relinquished his ownership to represent athletes as an agent, but Brooklyn still plans to go hard.
The Nets got serious by basically importing the old Boston Celtics team and nabbing some guy named Andrei Kirilenko.
This could be Kevin Garnett’s last game in the Target Center. Too bad it’s not in a Wolves uniform (breaks into tears). At the very least, K.G. will look better in black, (chokes up), the color he wore when he was in Minnesota (starts sobbing again).
It’s do or die for a Brooklyn Nets team that is all-in. AK-47 took a pay cut to join the team, and the 'Wolves are about to find out the hard way why he did. This is going to be an early-season wake-up call for a Minnesota club that may be entertaining thoughts of contention. Expect the Nets to take this one.
McHale, right, sits with newly acquired Dwight Howard (not Joe Smith).
Even without the Kevin McHale connection, the Houston Rockets are an intriguing team and definitely worth a look from Timberwolves fans who just love the game of basketball.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey is basically the NBA’s Billy Beane, using advanced metrics to build a contending team in Houston. Morey is also from Wisconsin, so he’s worth booing if you have the chance.
McHale, of course, is the former coach and GM of the Timberwolves who gave an illegal contract to Joe Smith and basically screwed the team because of it. There is no telling if it was Joe Smith, Joe Smith or Joe Smith…but I think it was this Joe Smith.
Whoever it was…it’s Joe Fricken Smith!
Houston should be tough this year, and it’s always hard to win on the road. I see the 'Wolves giving the Rockets a run for their money, especially knowing they may see them in the playoffs, but it’ll be hard to beat them on the road. The Rockets should be better next year.
I swear to God I recognize this guy, I just can't think of his name...
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of these guys, but somebody tells me the Miami Heat are kinda good. They have somebody they call “The Bron” who apparently is decent at basketball. (Gets slapped in the face.) Sorry, I’m told his name is “Le Bron.” Must be French.
In this game, I say Dwyane Wade shows up with grey hair, Chris Bosh scores exactly zero points and LeBron James, fed up with his teammates, does the “Miami Heat fan” and leaves the game after the third quarter, only to try and get back in when Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen and Greg Oden go on a mini-tear in the fourth. Minnesota wins this one 120-35, with 30 of Miami’s points scored by Oden in the final frame.
Adelman, blending into the background here, began his coaching career in Rip City.
This is becoming a fun rivalry. Portland apparently sent the 'Wolves Martell Webster when he was injured, and Minnesota tried to nab Nicolas Batum a while back and was denied.
There are more connections too: Terry Porter began his playing career with the Trail Blazers, and Rick Adelman began his NBA head coaching career in the Rose City.
At the very least, the Blazers should be an improved team this season and give Minnesota a run for its money.
I see the 'Wolves blowing them out in Minneapolis, though.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the NBA’s newest team, the New Orleans Pel—what?
Really, we’re calling them that? The Pelicans? Is their mascot Toucan Sam?
Whatever…at least it’s better than the Thunder.
So the Pellies are coming to town, and you might as well get a load of these guys. I don’t know how the hell a Hornet becomes a Pelican—perhaps Kakuna is the middle step (yes, I just made a Pokémon reference…I’m a little ashamed of myself).
However the evolution happened, the Pelicans are here. With Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis all wearing the league’s most generic uniforms (seriously!), the Pellies could be a bona fide threat…to Nemo and Dori!
(Sorry, I must have just turned 12 years old for a second there.)
The Wolves better wipe the floor with these guys!
No...no...no! Don't shake it! Don't shake it! No...!
Here's a little battle between two Midwest teams. The Indiana Pacers, who look like a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference, are an intriguing matchup for the Wolves. They play sound fundamental ball and should restore a franchise in a basketball hotbed.
This is also the We Could Have Had Paul George Game. But really, Wesley Johnson was a great pick. (Okay, okay, I’ll lay off: Six other teams also passed on George in 2010).
I say George goes off in this game, however, just to tear every Timberwolves fan’s heart out. He’s going to score 50 points, including a buzzer-beater from way outside—I’m saying he literally shoots the ball from Sneaky Pete’s—to win the game and then hops on the light rail and high-tails it to the airport without bothering to take off his uniform to avoid the riot.
What? You're changing my uniform again? I just got this one!
It is a much, much better name and reminds basketball fans of the old Muggsy Bogues, Alonzo Morning and Larry Johnson days. However that evolution from cat to bee took place, it is for the betterment of the game.
The Bobcats themselves aren’t an incredibly entertaining team, but it’s worth one last look at another moniker that will no longer exist in the NBA.
Expect the Wolves to dominate the Bobcats from start to finish and make these kitties wish they could just fly away at the end of the night.
And now sports fans, the final slide contains the greatest act of the entire 2013-14 Minnesota Timberwolves schedule! Drumroll please!
He’s not a Pelican or a Bobcat or even a Bron.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present you the greatest basketball player in the NBA—according to…himself?
Well, apparently Derrick Rose believes he is the best player in the National Basketball Association.
To be fair, he was the league MVP in 2010-11 and gave his injured knee plenty of time to rest last season. It may be a wise move for Rose to show his confidence, especially after battling enraged fans, the Chicago media and one fat dude while sitting out the playoffs last season.
At the very least, he’s a player worth watching on a team that should contend next season.
It should be a hard-fought battle, but Chicago should take this game in the end behind Rose and a cast of teammates who beat Brooklyn in the first round of the playoffs last season.
Tom Schreier covers Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and is a contributor to Yahoo! Sports.