Sacramento Kings must watch game at Minnesota Timberwolves Dec. 14

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 1: Willie Cauley-Stein
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 1: Willie Cauley-Stein /

On August 14, the NBA released their full season schedule.  This article looks at a must watch game between the Sacramento Kings and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Sacramento Kings know their regular season schedule for the 2017-2018 NBA season after the league’s announcement on Monday.  That brings plenty of intrigue and storylines to follow throughout the season.

We at A Royal Pain decided to do a look at the must watch games for the coming season.  Today, we look at an intriguing matchup at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 14.  No team overhauled their roster more than the Timberwolves this offseason.  This game will be game 28 of 82 in the Kings schedule.  Let us take a look at the three big storylines to follow in this contest.

Storyline 1: Jimmy Buckets in Minnesota

The big draft night trade saw Jimmy Butler leave Chicago to reunite with his former coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota.  Obviously, anytime you can acquire a top five player at his position it is big news, but to win the race for Butler was huge for the Timberwolves.

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Butler will provide a difficult matchup for the Kings.  Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic will likely attempt to guard Jimmy Buckets, and there are some question marks there.  Hield is not known for his defense (negative 1.9 defensive box score plus/minus last season), and it is hard to know what to expect from Bogdanovic.  Butler is a different opponent with his ball handling ability and skill at attacking the rim, so all the Sacramento wings will have their hands full.

Storyline 2: KAT comes out to play

The 21-year-old Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the league’s real young superstars.  He is coming off a season where he averaged 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.2 3-pointers made and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 54.2% from the field, 36.7% from three, and 83.2% from the foul line.  Towns played all 82 games in both of his NBA seasons thus far.

The scary thought for next season is Towns should have more open looks playing alongside Butler.  Butler is a fantastic driver and playmaker for his size, and the numbers tell it all Towns can knock down a shot from anywhere so pairing those two could be a lethal combination.  I am expecting plenty of excitement from Towns and Butler this season.

Storyline 3: First look at the new Timberwolves

Jimmy Butler is far from the only new acquisition in Minnesota.  Jeff Teague takes over the starting point guard mantle after Ricky Rubio moved to Utah.  Jamal Crawford and Taj Gibson signed in free agency to add some enticing bench depth, and Justin Patton joined via the draft.  The jokes around the NBA are Coach Thibs is building Chicago West.

The acquisitions have created some expectations in Minnesota.  The Timberwolves looks like a playoff contender, and they have not made the playoffs since 2004.  Jeff Teague gives them another floor spacer that Rubio did not provide.  Crawford and Gibson provide scoring and defense off the bench respectively.  Coach Thibs is known for playing his guys big minutes, but this team is deep enough to avoid the adverse effects of that.  I am optimistic about the Wolves playoff chances even in a deep Western Conference.  Dec. 14 will be your first chance to see them take the court against the Sacramento Kings.

Final Thoughts

The first must watch road game in our countdown is the Dec. 14 contest at the Minnesota Timberwolves.  Both teams improved this offseason significantly, and the matchup should provide plenty of excitement for fans.

Stay tuned for the remaining must watch games this season as our countdown continues.  Less than two months to go until opening nights and my excitement is building with each passing moment.  I hope you are excited too for the wild ride of the 2017-2018 season for the Kings.

Next: Best available NBA free agents

A Royal Pain has you covered this offseason with all the Sacramento Kings content you desire.  We have a ton of draft, free agency and summer league articles up on the site.  We will now be focusing on all the information you need to get ready for upcoming season, so please check back with us frequently.  Thank you for reading.