Minnesota Timberwolves schedule 2013: Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio are ready to roll

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The Minnesota Timberwolves need a fast start and big wins in 2013-14 to reach the playoffs. If anything, Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love are hungry to finally get on track.

Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio have unfinished business. In fact, it could be argued their business hasn't even started. Rick Adelman's Minnesota Timberwolves have the talent, but haven't had cohesion with so many injuries hitting so many key pieces of the roster. Aside from a knee injury to swingman Chase Budinger entering the 2013-14 season, Minnesota finally appears ready to roll.

Will the T-Wolves make the playoffs? With so many Western Conference teams in the conversation but only a few spots available, should everything go as planned, Minnesota will need to find success and fast.

Five games to watch

Nov. 1 vs. Thunder -- T-Wolves guard Kevin Martin joined the Thunder prior to last season as the biggest piece to the James Harden trade. But after replacing Harden as the third scorer off the bench behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Martin left as a free agent to rejoin Minnesota coach Rick Adelman. Oklahoma City hasn't quite replaced Martin's scoring prowess and the Thunder will find out quickly how much they miss him against a hungry Timberwolves team.

Nov. 15 at Denver -- Two of the more exciting lower-tier playoff contenders in the Western Conference could put on quite a show with two contrasting styles. The Nuggets will be feeling out first-year coach Brian Shaw early in the year as Minnesota works again under Adelman. A Minnesota victory in November could be important if the two squads are fighting it out for final playoff spots at the end of the year.

Dec. 4 vs. Spurs -- Both the Spurs and T-Wolves play methodical basketball and each plays through a power forward and a point guard. The teams look similar in terms of roster construction and each has its own wealth of talent thanks to internationally focused coaching staffs.

March 28 vs. Lakers -- No, it's not a Minneapolis Lakers thing. The Lakers and Timberwolves could very well be fighting for playoff seeding or playoff participation this late in the regular season. The matchups between Pau Gasol and Kevin Love, and Steve Nash and Ricky Rubio are enticing -- that is, only if Los Angeles' age doesn't catch up to it.

April 11 vs. Rockets -- The previous team Adelman coached visits Minnesota with the playoffs in sight. The T-Wolves may be playing desperate ball in April and could use a stiff test against a Rockets team that should be well put together by this point in the season.

Tough tests

Minnesota's schedule includes a brutal nine-game stretch early in the season. Beginning Nov. 20, the T-Wolves consecutively play the Clippers, Nets, Rockets, Pacers, Nuggets, Mavs, Thunder, Spurs and Heat. All but the Mavericks and Nuggets could call themselves candidates to find themselves in the 2014 NBA Finals.

Easiest stretches

A reasonable portion of the Timberwolves' schedule comes in January. From Jan. 6 to 21, Minnesota plays Philadelphia, Phoenix, Charlotte, Sacramento, Toronto and Utah twice in a row. A single game against the Spurs is the only one of eight games where the T-Wolves shouldn't be favored.

Important schedule facts

Back-to-backs: 20

Season opener: Oct. 30 at home vs. Magic

Longest road trip: Five games (Feb. 22-March 3)

Longest homestand: Four games (Feb. 8-19, March 5-11)

2013-14 schedule

OCTOBER
Orlando Wednesday, October 30 2013 8:00 PM EDT coverage
NOVEMBER
Oklahoma City Friday, November 01 2013 8:00 PM EDT coverage
New York Sunday, November 03 2013 7:30 PM EST coverage
Cleveland Monday, November 04 2013 7:00 PM EST coverage
Golden State Wednesday, November 06 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Dallas Friday, November 08 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Los Angeles Lakers Sunday, November 10 2013 9:30 PM EST coverage
Los Angeles Clippers Monday, November 11 2013 10:30 PM EST coverage
Cleveland Wednesday, November 13 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Denver Friday, November 15 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Boston Saturday, November 16 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Washington Tuesday, November 19 2013 7:00 PM EST coverage
Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday, November 20 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Brooklyn Friday, November 22 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Houston Saturday, November 23 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Indiana Monday, November 25 2013 7:00 PM EST coverage
Denver Wednesday, November 27 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Dallas Saturday, November 30 2013 8:30 PM EST coverage
DECEMBER
Oklahoma City Sunday, December 01 2013 7:00 PM EST coverage
San Antonio Wednesday, December 04 2013 9:30 PM EST coverage
Miami Saturday, December 07 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Detroit Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:30 PM EST coverage
Philadelphia Wednesday, December 11 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
San Antonio Friday, December 13 2013 8:30 PM EST coverage
Memphis Sunday, December 15 2013 6:00 PM EST coverage
Boston Monday, December 16 2013 7:30 PM EST coverage
Portland Wednesday, December 18 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Los Angeles Lakers Friday, December 20 2013 10:30 PM EST coverage
Los Angeles Clippers Sunday, December 22 2013 9:30 PM EST coverage
Washington Friday, December 27 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Milwaukee Saturday, December 28 2013 8:30 PM EST coverage
Dallas Monday, December 30 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
JANUARY
New Orleans Wednesday, January 01 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Oklahoma City Saturday, January 04 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Philadelphia Monday, January 06 2014 7:00 PM EST coverage
Phoenix Wednesday, January 08 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Charlotte Friday, January 10 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
San Antonio Sunday, January 12 2014 7:00 PM EST coverage
Sacramento Wednesday, January 15 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Toronto Friday, January 17 2014 7:00 PM EST coverage
Utah Saturday, January 18 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Utah Tuesday, January 21 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Golden State Friday, January 24 2014 10:30 PM EST coverage
Portland Saturday, January 25 2014 10:00 PM EST coverage
Chicago Monday, January 27 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
New Orleans Wednesday, January 29 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Memphis Friday, January 31 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
FEBRUARY
Atlanta Saturday, February 01 2014 7:30 PM EST coverage
Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday, February 04 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Oklahoma City Wednesday, February 05 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
New Orleans Friday, February 07 2014 9:30 PM EST coverage
Portland Saturday, February 08 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Houston Monday, February 10 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Denver Wednesday, February 12 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Indiana Wednesday, February 19 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Utah Saturday, February 22 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Portland Sunday, February 23 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Phoenix Tuesday, February 25 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
MARCH
Sacramento Saturday, March 01 2014 10:00 PM EST coverage
Denver Monday, March 03 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
New York Wednesday, March 05 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Detroit Friday, March 07 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Toronto Sunday, March 09 2014 7:00 PM EDT coverage
Milwaukee Tuesday, March 11 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
Charlotte Friday, March 14 2014 7:00 PM EDT coverage
Sacramento Sunday, March 16 2014 7:00 PM EDT coverage
Dallas Wednesday, March 19 2014 8:30 PM EDT coverage
Houston Thursday, March 20 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
Phoenix Sunday, March 23 2014 3:30 PM EDT coverage
Memphis Monday, March 24 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
Atlanta Wednesday, March 26 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
Los Angeles Lakers Friday, March 28 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
Brooklyn Sunday, March 30 2014 6:00 PM EDT coverage
Los Angeles Clippers Monday, March 31 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
APRIL
Memphis Wednesday, April 02 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
Miami Friday, April 04 2014 7:30 PM EDT coverage
Orlando Saturday, April 05 2014 7:00 PM EDT coverage
Chicago Wednesday, April 09 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
Houston Friday, April 11 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
Sacramento Sunday, April 13 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
Golden State Monday, April 14 2014 10:30 PM EDT coverage
Utah Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage

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