It goes without saying that every game in any sport becomes magnified in the playoffs. There is less margin for error, and a couple of bad performances can end a team's championship dreams and send it into the offseason.

Game 1 is a tone-setter. In a seven-game series, it allows the most forgiveness in general because the losing team still has time to make up ground. But historically the Game 1 winner in an NBA best-of-seven series is a good indicator of who will win the series.

Per the site Who Wins (an excellent resource for a lot of major sports playoff history), NBA teams that win Game 1 go on to win the series 75.3% of the time.

With that context as a backdrop, there's this: Game 1 feels especially important for the Timberwolves as they open play Saturday in their series against Phoenix — something Chris Hine and I talked about on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast.

The reasons range from the practical to the emotional.

First, it's important to maintain home-court advantage. The Wolves worked hard all season, often eschewing load management and other maneuvers that veteran teams use as they cruise through 82 games, to give themselves a chance at the best playoff seed possible.

Minnesota was in the mix for the No. 1 seed in the West until the season's final day — when they lost convincingly to the Suns for the third time this season. Still, they earned the No. 3 seed, and a Game 1 loss would undo the advantage they spent an entire season to obtain.

Second, those aforementioned struggles against the Suns. In terms of matchups, the Wolves couldn't have found a tougher first-round opponent than Phoenix. After they went 0-3 against the Suns this season, a Game 1 win would give the Wolves earned confidence. On the flip side, a Game 1 loss would only reinforce the challenge of trying to defeat a team led by Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.

And finally, the atmosphere at Target Center on Saturday will set the tone for the series. If the Wolves look like a dominant team, or at least a team competitive enough to beat the Suns over the course of seven games, fans will bring big energy. If the Wolves are overmatched again, the energy might just be sucked right out of the building.

The series won't be over regardless of what happens Saturday. But it sure feels like the game will be a major barometer for how the rest of it will play out.

Here are four more things to know today:

* We also talked about Hine's excellent Naz Reid profile on Friday's podcast. If you haven't read it yet, please do so now.

* ESPN's Bill Barnwell isn't saying the Vikings will trade Justin Jefferson, but he is saying here is a trade that could happen on draft night if they did.

* Former Minnesota high school stars transferring back to the Gophers appears to be a trend. LSU's Jaxon Howard is the latest, while Thursday's story was Taylor Woodson.

* The Wild's disappointing season is over, and I have my doubts that next year will look much different.