The NBA prioritized getting playes and teams rest with this season schedule, trying to go out of its way to make sure there are fewer stretches of back-to-back games and three-in-four or four-in-five nights.
The Wolves haven't played back-to-back games yet, not until this upcoming stretch where starting tonight in Atlanta they will play four games in five nights and three sets in the next 10 days.
With 35-year-old Tayshaun Prince and 39-year-old Kevin Garnett in his starting lineup, Wolves interim head coach Sam Mitchell said he won't coach tonight's game against the Hawks any differently than he normally would.
As for Tuesday's home game against a Charlotte team that's been in Minneapolis since Sunday waiting for them, well, Mitchell said he'll deal with that Tuesday night.
"We're not worried about back-to-backs," Mitchell said. "We've got to worry about the game tonight. Why would I worry about a game that's tomorrow. We'll worry about that then. You've got to try to win the game at hand."
Mitchell said he'll coach with Tuesday and Thusday and Friday games in mind only if tonight's outcome is decided long before the final buzzer.
Asked if he plans to play Garnett in back-to-back games -- he's been held out of them often the last couple years -- Mitchell said, "Depends on how he feels. If he tells me he can go, he'll play. It depends how many minutes we play him the first game and how he tells me he feels the next night. We're not going to change his amount of minutes (tonight) so it just depends on how he feels."
Prince played more than 38 minutes in Saturday's overtime victory at Chicago. He said after shootaround today that he felt lousy Sunday morning but felt better as the day progressed. He said he could play that many minutes in each game of a back-to-back set if needed, but said he didn't think that's likely because every game so far this season has been different.
He played that many on Saturday partly because Kevin Martin was missing. Martin is back for tonight's game after attending to a family matter that caused him to miss the Chicago game and three practices last week.
A couple other things:
* Remember tonight's game is a 7 pm Central start, one hour later than usual for East Coast game. The Hawks are playing 8 pm local time weeknight games this season in an attempt to allow more time for fans to get through Atlanta's snarled rush-hour traffic.
* Mitchell was trying to gather 30 tickets for tonight's game for family and friends now that he's back in Atlanta, where he lives summers, but dismissed the notion when I asked if it was an emotional homecoming for him.
* Wolves rookie Karl-Anthony Towns will play against Dominican Republic teammate/friend Al Horford as a professional for the first time tonight. Horford mentored Towns when he was 14 and 15 and just coming up playing with the Dominican team.
* A former second-round pick out of Bucknell, Roseville's Mike Muscala is forging a good career for himself so far, coming off the bench for a Hawks team that won 60 games last season and has started this season 7-1 with a seven-game winning streak currently.