The Wolves are playing two preseason games at the Target Center this year: Friday against Toronto, and next Wednesday versus Chicago. They'll also play four road games, plus host a game in Sioux Falls - but if you're a Twin Cities-area Wolves fan, this week is your only chance to check out the team before the games start counting for real.
Of course, you might not have been paying much attention over the summer. For some casual fans, the last thing they can remember is the team picking Ricky Rubio on draft night, followed by Rubio trying to look happy for the cameras but failing abjectly. (Our theory: he was afraid of going to Minnesota and being eaten by a polar bear. You must admit, this explains a lot.)
But lots has happened since then. Below, a not-necessarily-exhaustive (or informative) guide to Ten Things You Don't Really Need To Know Before Going To See the Wolves' Preseason Games This Week.
- Al Jefferson is still on the team, but trying to learn how to play the triangle offense. Don't yell at him if he starts bricking jump shots like he's Randy Foye. He's trying to learn. A little encouragement would go a long way.
- Also, Al's knees are very fragile and we all have to pitch in to keep them healthy. The slightest thing could set them off. Watch your language.
- Speaking of Randy Foye: he's gone. We are not that sad about it.
- Mike Miller is also gone, part of the same trade that sent Foye away. If you're looking for a 6-10 sharpshooter that a) refuses to shoot and b) keeps on driving the lane wildly and c) acts surly about the whole thing, you'd better hope Brian Cardinal shows up drunk.
- Here's the list of guys who were on the team before the summer started, and are still here: Jefferson, Cardinal, Ryan Gomes, Corey Brewer, Kevin Love.
- Yes, that's it. And the team made Love stop tweeting, which has given fans a little less joy in their lives.
- Newcomers include Jonny Flynn, Wayne Ellington, Sasha Pavlovic, Ramon Sessions, Damien Wilkins, Ryan Hollins, and a cast of thousands that won't be on the roster coming Opening Night. Like a farmer raising chickens, it's best not to get attached to any of these guys, because pretty soon Farmer Kahn will come along holding his Trade Hatchet, and then WHACK it's time for chicken soup!
- Well, Flynn and Ellington are rookies and are therefore probably safe, and Sessions has been called the free-agent "steal of the summer" by John Hollinger, so it's probably okay to get attached to those three. But the rest are still in danger.
- Mark Blount is on the roster. But fear not. He'll never play for the team again. You can come out now. That particular nightmare is over.
- All in all, the team will be young, rambunctious, and unlikely to hit a three-pointer except by accident. It could be fun to watch. Or it might be abjectly painful and full of ridiculous numbers of free throws and defensive breakdowns. It's really hard to say at this point.
Tickets for the two games start at $0 (really), so get out there and cheer on the team.
And watch out for that Farmer Kahn. He will trade you thisquick, and he won't even think about it.