Greetings from Target Center, where the Timberwolves just finished up with the morning shootaround.
Kent Youngblood here, filling in for the irreplaceable Jerry Zgoda.
For a while after the session ended backup point guard J.J. Barea was over at one side of the court, sitting between Wolves coach Rick Adelman and athletic trainer Gregg Farnam. They were discussing whether Barea will return to action tonight after missing three games with a twisted left ankle. Barea admitted he was doing some lobbying, but no decision has been made yet.
That will have to wait until pre-game. Barea plans on eating, getting some rest, then coming to the arena for a normal pre-game preparation. If all goes well, he said, he expects to play.
"They want to make sure I'm right, make sure what's best for the team," Barea said of Adelman and Farnam.
The concern is bringing Barea back too soon could mean another injury and another stretch missing games. Barea has played in just five of 13 games so far. He played the first two, but hurt his hamstring against Milwaukee. He missed a game then came back against Dallas -- his former team. But he tweaked the hamstring again and missed four games. He returned to play two games, but twisted his ankle against Chicago Jan. 10 and has not played since.
it has been frustrating for Barea. "It's super hard," he said. "I hate sitting out. I hate having to help my teammates just by talking. I want to be back out there with them helping them get some wins."
That could happen tonight if Barea feels good after his pre-game warmup.
--Center Darko Milicic isn't super happy about his diminished role, especially on offense. But he said he's willing do whatever is asked of him if the team continues to improve. Lately that has meant mainly a defensive role and limited minutes. He did have two steals and three blocks against Sacramento.
--Guard/forward Wes Johnson is clearly frustrated with his shots not falling. To compensate, coaches have been asking him to work on rebounding and defense more as well as trying to get to the basket rather than just taking jumpers.
That's about it for now. Have a good afternoon.