Josh Howard will arrive in the Twin Cities later tonight. Assuming he passes his physical, he will be in the rotation tomorrow for the Wolves’ game with Golden State. Guard Will Conroy was waived to make room for Howard.
Wolves coach Rick Adelman will not waste any time.
“He’ll play behind Andrei (Kirilenko),” Adelman said. “I watching him work out last week, and you know, hopefully he’ll be able to give us some spot minutes at the start until we see where he is conditioning-wise.’’
Ideally, Adelman would like to use Howard for five or six minutes per half to take some minutes off of Kirilenko, who has been an iron man during the Wolves’ rash of injuries. But, should Howard prove to be both healthy and in good shape, his minutes could grow.
Indeed, Adelman said the improved depth could allow him, eventually, to play Howard some at the small forward and Kirilenko at power forward against certain lineups.
The Wolves worked out Howard while the team was in Dallas Monday.
--Adelman sounded like he didn’t expect Nikola Pekovic (ankle), J.J. Barea (foot) or Brandon Roy (knee) to play against Golden State Friday. But Pekovic, who did some running today, said he hoped to play.
“Yeah, I got some chance,” Pekovic said. “I got some pain, but I’ll see. …I hope I’ll play tomorrow.”
The Wolves may opt to take the cautious route and sit all three, with the four-day break before the next game giving them all time to fully heal.
But Pek wants to play if he can. “I got some pain, but no big deal,” he said. “I don’t have such a serious injury. I just twist my ankle. The pains going to be there, probably, for a while. If I go tomorrow, I can’t make it any worse. I just trying to help. It was tough to watch last night from the side, from the bench.”
--Adelman didn’t have the guys do much in practice today. “Our contact was to talk,” he joked. “That was all we did. I got the Magnificent Nine. And now is Eight with Will gone. We talked about situations we thought would be helpful, that they should think about. We did some spot shooting, and definitely some free throw shooting.”
--The Wolves made just 20 of 37 free throws against Charlotte Wednesday, so each player did a bunch of extra free throws. “I think it was just one of those games,” Adelman said.
--Malcolm Lee is OK after having leg cramps late in Wednesday’s game. Adelman said Lee would have been in on defense for the final sequence had he been available; Charlotte’s Kemba Walker made a 19-foot shot with less than a second left to win the game for the Bobcats.