MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Monday is a travel day for the Timberwolves. Up next on the schedule is a game tomorrow night in Philadelphia. That’s right, they’re about to play against Jimmy Butler for the first time since trading him there.

David McCoy has the Wolves’ thoughts on the upcoming showdown

With their first game against Jimmy Butler on the horizon, Wolves players say it will be no different than any other matchup.

“It’s another game,” Taj Gibson said.

“It’ll be like any other game, really,” Andrew Wiggins added.

Really?

“I look forward to every matchup. It’ll be a really good game. Philly’s a really good team,” Wiggins said.

Knowing Butler, though, no doubt he’ll be fired up as can be for this one.

“Yeah, Jimmy’s a competitive player. And we definitely expect his best,” said Ryan Saunders, interim head coach for the Timberwolves.

“He brings his best every game. Every game he plays hard,” Wiggins said. “So, it’s not like he’s going to play harder, he plays hard every game.”

“Knowing him, he’s going to come out aggressive, but that’s how he plays,” Gibson said. “But I think we’ll be ready for the task, too.”

What isn’t in question is the effect that him leaving had on the team. They’ve been a lot better since Butler left. They were five games under .500 when the trade happened, they’ve been 17-13 since.

“Jimmy’s a great player, and he’s been a great player for a long time. So we’re obviously appreciative of what he did, especially in terms of helping us last year, but we’re also very happy with what we got in return, with everything,” Saunders said. “So we’re looking forward and we’re not looking back.”

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