Minnesota Timberwolves open season on road against Memphis Grizzlies

After a long offseason, Timberwolves fans can get back to basketball on Wednesday night when the Wolves take on the Memphis Grizzlies in their regular season opener.

Minnesota Timberwolves open season on road against Memphis Grizzlies
JaMychal Green shoots over Gorgui Dieng last season. (Getty Images via Minnesota Timberwolves)

It’s been a long offseason for Minnesota Timberwolves fans, but it’s finally over. The Timberwolves finally get the regular season underway on Wednesday night when they travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies.

The Wolves looked impressive in the preseason, as they went 5-2, including a 109-74 thrashing of the Charlotte Hornets in their preseason finale. In that game, Shabazz Muhammad led the Wolves with 17 points, while Zach Lavine added 15 points, as did reigning rookie of the year Karl-Anthony Towns.

The Grizzlies have had an extended break, as they last took the court on October 19 when they traveled to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves. In that game, Wayne Selden led a losing effort the Grizzlies with 17 points, while Zach Randolph contributed 13 points off the bench.

Last matchup

As mentioned earlier, the last time that these teams played was on Oct. 19 when the Timberwolves won a 101-94 game over the Grizzlies. The Wolves were led by Towns, who had 31 points and nine rebounds. Gogui Dieng added 19 points, while Lavine had 18 points.

The last regular season matchup was last March when the Timberwolves defeated the Grizzlies 114-108. That resulted in a 2-2 split of the season series between the two teams.

Matt Barnes drives past Andrew Wiggins last March. (Getty Images via Minnesota Timberwolves)
Matt Barnes drives past Andrew Wiggins last March. (Getty Images via Minnesota Timberwolves)

Players to watch

For Minnesota, keep an eye on point guard Ricky Rubio, who is in his sixth season in the NBA since coming over from Spain. Last season, he averaged 30 minutes a game, averaging 10.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game.

He has also been the subject of recent trade rumors, which have him potentially heading to Washington in a three-team swap that would send John Wall to the Boston Celtics while Minnesota would get point guard Isaiah Thomas and forward Jonas Jerebko.

For Memphis, keep an eye on point guard Mike Conley, who will be matching up with Rubio. Conley is in his tenth season in the league and averaged 31 minutes in 56 games last season. He averaged 15.3 points, 6.1 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game last season, which are all either in line with or slightly above his career averages.

News and Notes

- The Timberwolves suffered a big loss in the locker room over the offseason when Kevin Garnett, who was drafted by Minnesota in 1995, announced his retirement from basketball. Garnett was a member of the Celtics team that won the NBA title in 2008.

- The game is scheduled to begin shortly after 7 p.m. central time and will be broadcast in Minnesota by Fox Sports North, with WCCO-AM picking up the radio broadcast. Memphis fans can catch the game on Fox Sports Southeast, with WMFS Radio carrying the radio broadcast.

- After the game, the two teams will see each other again on Nov. 1, when the Grizzlies will travel to Minneapolis. Before that, however, the Grizzlies will face the New York Knicks on the road before returning to Memphis to take on the Washington Wizards. The Wolves, meanwhile, will travel to Sacramento to take on the Kings on Saturday night.