Every year, fans are treated to an exciting season kickoff as the Spurs meet a true competitor right away. Last year the Spurs faced Golden State, the year before OKC, and the year before that the Dallas Mavericks — the last time they won 50 games.
This year’s new-look Timberwolves are nothing to scoff at. They feature a top 10 guy in Jimmy Butler reuniting with head coach Tom Thibodeau. In addition, Jeff Teague made the move from Indianapolis to Minneapolis. Aligning those talents with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins has already earned them playoff contender status in the stacked Western Conference.
San Antonio Spurs (0-0) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (0-0)
October 18, 2017 | 8:30 pm CDT
Watch: KENS 5, ESPN
Spurs injuries: Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps), Tony Parker (quadriceps)
Timberwolves injuries: none
H.E.B. commercials are coming...indubitably
Anyone who tells you the first Spurs game isn’t about the HEB commercials is lying. Just tell me this isn’t nearly as exciting the game itself:
They call me Mr. Thibs!
Head coach Tom Thibodeau took a year off after his time in Chicago and found a new home in Minneapolis. Keeping in mind that a team making major changes in the summer has a lot to prove in autumn, the stakes for the Timberwolves peak immediately. Sure, Butler moved over, but he didn’t make that choice. He was traded, and without being told it was going down. Showing Butler that this was a switch worthy of his talent will be a team effort. And with playoff hype circulating prior to the season’s first tip-off, you can bet Thibs will be pushing his players.
Spurs fans are loving Dejounte Murray and what he represents. Just like his predecessor Parker, he is starting at a very young age — and his 3rd year option was just picked up. His hometown mentor Jamal Crawford recently relocated to Minnesota and there is a chance fans will be treated to a little young man/old man one-upmanship.
Getting over the hump
Last year the T-wolves suffered multiple losses after double-digit leads. According to their coaches, one major reason is discipline. This revamp will look to maintain those leads and bring home some wins. But they will be facing a Spurs team that does not often relinquish games in the fourth quarter. In addition, the Spurs bench could be even stronger than last year (if that is possible) with the additions of Rudy Gay and everyone’s new favorite Frenchman Joffrey Lauvergne.
Good time to be a Spurs fan
With Leonard and Parker still out, this opener won’t resemble the season as it will likely unfold. That said, Spurs are Spurs, even if they’ve only been in Silver & Black for a short time. Look for LMA to continue the excellent play he established in the preseason. Rudy Gay will help fill in for Kawhi in the interim. Dejounte Murray’s persistence sets a new, young tone for the starting crew. Expect Bryn Forbes, Derrick White, and Brandon Paul to grab some valuable minutes that will help keep the starters fresh throughout the season.
As we begin the 2017-18 season, join me in a resonating IN POP WE TRUST! and GO SPURS GO!
Game prediction: Spurs by 11
Vegas odds: Spurs by 6.5
For the Timberwolves fan’s perspective, visit Canis Hoopus.
As always, Tony must dominate Fisher.
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