And then there were 8 1/2 men.

And one important guy missing from the coaches' bench, too.

The Wolves will play on tonight at New Orleans -- the second game in this four-game Southern trip -- without reserve guard J.J. Barea and coach Rick Adelman once again.

Top assistant Terry Porter will coach the team for the third consecutive game while Adelman remains in Minneapolis beside his wife Mary Kay, who has been hospitalized there.

It's not known whether Adelman or Barea will be back for Sunday's game at San Antonio.

Barea went to Dallas before Wednesday's game at Oklahoma City to seek treatment for his back.

When asked why Barea didn't stay with the team for treatment, Porter shrugged and said Barea wanted to see a doctor he knows in Dallas, where he played five seasons with the Mavs.

A couple other things:

* Lazar Hayward missed shootaround this morning because he was feeling ill. Porter said he could play tonight -- not that he's been asked to play much anyway -- if he's feeling better.

Hayward's absence would put the Wolves at those aforementioned 8 1/2 men.

Ricky Rubio is the half, btw, because of his 20-22 minute limit.

* Rubio said he came through Wednesday's game -- and his first back-to-back games this season -- feeling good.

"I felt normal, like tired, but nothing on knees, which is a good sign," he said.

When asked when he expects his playing-time limit to be removed, Rubio said he expects to talk to doctors about that and hopes he happens "soon."

But that won't be tonight, Porter said.










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Postgame: Up 18, down 15...Wolves lose at New Orleans