Staff Directory 10646291

Jerry Zgoda

Reporter | Timberwolves, NBA
phone: 612-673-7197
Jerry has been a Star Tribune sportswriter so long, his first beat directly out of college was covering the North Stars. In nearly 30 years, he has covered the NHL, the Wolves and the NBA twice (he missed the first Kevin Garnett era, which says something about his sense of timing), Gophers and NCAA athletics, the radio/TV beat, major-championship golf and outdoor recreation. Follow @JerryZgoda
Recent content from Jerry Zgoda
New York forward Tim Hardaway Jr. tried to shoot around Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns in the fourth quarter Friday, when the Knicks had a har

Wolves break Eastern Conference hex by holding off Knicks 108-104

By surviving on the road against a struggling team, they clinched their first winning season since 2005.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns dunked in the first half Tuesday against the Clippers.

Wolves dominate Clippers to secure first non-losing season since 2005

By ending a two-game losing streak to San Antonio and Houston, the Wolves put three games between them and the Clippers.
Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford dribbled pass LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan at Target Center on Tuesday.

Another birthday for the Wolves' ageless Crawford

Jamal Crawford, who turned 38 on Tuesday, has played for 18 coaches in 18 seasons and just keeps on playing, whether winter or all summer long.
Derrick Rose is getting a handle on his responsibilities with his new team and new role in the Wolves’ guard rotation.

Rose is embracing role, and Wolves are on board

Derrick Rose's addition to the Wolves' rotation with a month left in the regular season has provided both periods of adjustment and promise
Minnesota Timberwolves' Jeff Teague, left, chases the ball as San Antonio Spurs' Pau Gasol, right, and LaMarcus Aldridge look on

San Antonio puts an end to Wolves' two-game winning streak

Trailing by nine points early, the Spurs ran away with the game late thanks to veteran forward LaMarcus Aldridge's 39-point, 10-rebound performance
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) right celebrated a three-point shot with forward Taj Gibson

Wolves' Gibson doesn't mind playing heavy minutes

Until this season, Taj Gibson had never averaged more than the 28.7 minutes he played for coach Tom Thibodeau and the Chicago Bulls in a 2013-14 season when he played all 82 games
Going into Saturday night, Nemanja Bjelica has averaged 13.9 points (on 49 percent shooting), 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals per game since

NBA insider: Bjelica is making a name for himself

The ver­sa­tile for­ward has stepped up his game in Jimmy But­ler's ab­sence.
Karl-Anthony Towns, right, and Andrew Wiggins were smiling after a January win but it’s more serious now.

Wolves playing with more seriousness as playoff race heats up

"They're growing," Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said of his team, which is among eight teams chasing the West's final six playoff spots.
Patrick Ewing led Georgetown to a 15-15 season.

Thibodeau happy Ewing finally got his head-coaching shot

Patrick Ewing served 15 years as an assistant coach for four NBA teams but didn't get his first head-coaching job until his alma mater called last spring.
The Wolves responded to a three-game losing streak by beating Golden State and Washington, thanks to elevated play from Karl-Anthony Towns.

Pressure builds as Wolves push through playoff-contending crowd

The NBA's Western Conference race is so tight that every night is now crucial. "Everyone is watching games," coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) drives against Wizards center Marcin Gortat during the first half of Tuesday's game.

Big fourth quarter propels Wolves past Wizards; Towns scores 37

The Wolves completed a comeback against the Wizards thanks to a 34-point fourth quarter that included a 20-3 run and big plays by Karl-Anthony Towns and Nemanja Bjelica.
Timberwolves center Cole Aldrich

Aldrich provides valuable seconds off bench for Wolves

Until Tuesday, Cole Aldrich had played 31 minutes in 15 games this season.
Andrew Wiggins glided between Golden State guard Klay Thompson, right, and forward Omri Casspi in the first half of Sunday’s Wolves victory and stay

Wolves keep feeding Wiggins this advice: 'Stop settling, man.'

Tom Thibodeau has praised Andrew Wiggins much of the season for making what he calls "winning" plays. But the coach wants to see even more.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns celebrated as Warriors guard Nick Young (6) looked on late in the fourth period of Minnesota's 109-103 victory

End-game awesome: Towns outduels Durant in fourth, Wolves beat Warriors

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to finish off a 31-point, 16-rebound performance. Andrew Wiggins was among five other Wolves in double figures with 23 points.
Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose lost his footing during the first half against Golden State at Target Center on Sunday.

Rusty Rose said he felt 'anxious' in Wolves debut

Newly signed guard Derrick Rose made his Timberwolves' debut with 6½ minutes played during Sunday's first half against Golden State, and the best you can say about it is he should get better.
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) limps back to the court after injuring his right ankle as teammate Draymond Green (23) checks on his conditi

Warriors unfazed about facing Wolves without Curry

The Warriors have played 16 games without Curry this season and are 11-5 in those. They've scored 13 fewer points a game — 119 to 103 — without him, but also have ratcheted their defense while fellow superstar Durant always seems to find another gear.
Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, right, celebrates a score as Minnesota Timberwolves' Nemanja Bjelica watches during the first half of an NBA bask

Preview: Timberwolves vs. Golden State

The 51-14 Warriors' seven-game winning streak ended with Friday's 125-108 loss at Portland.
Newly signed Wolves guard Derrick Rose sat on the floor but didn’t get onto the floor for a minute of playing time in his first game with the Wolves

NBA Insider: Teague, Rose, Jones backcourt can work in today's game

The Timberwolves' signing of Derrick Rose might have caused you to ask where his point-guard minutes might come on a team that already has starter Jeff Teague and backup Tyus Jones: Will Rose play with Teague and/or Jones and if not, why not?
Boston Celtics's Jaylen Brown lays up as Minnesota Timberwolves' Taj Gibson, left, looks on in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Marc

Celtics' Brown gets up after frightening landing against Wolves

Jaylen Brown tumbled head over heels when he was fouled on a dunk and landed frighteningly upside down
Newly signed Timberwolves' player Derrick Rose watches in the second half

'I'm not here for stats.' Rose joins Wolves team searching for wins

Rose signed a contract for the rest of the season — making him eligible for the playoffs — and is reuniting with coach Tom Thibodeau, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson.
Boston Celtics’s Al Horford, center, of Dominican Republic, pulls in a rebound as Minnesota Timberwolves’ Tyus Jones, left, and Andrew Wiggins, ri

Defense deserts Wolves in loss to Boston; Bjelica's career-best night for naught

Nemanja Bjelica did his part for the Timberwolves but the rest of the starters could not keep up with Boston as Minnesota lost its third game in a row for the first time this season.
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said of both Gordon Hayward and Jimmy Butler: “Those versatile guys are hard to lose.”

Playing hurt: Wolves, Boston have both faced injury challenges

The Celtics suffered a daunting injury when star Gordon Hayward was lost for the season in the opener. But Boston responded with an early 16-game winning streak and has the East's second-best record.
Utah Jazz's Ricky Rubio (3) drives the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves' Jeff Teague (0) defends in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Frida

NBA insider: Teague-Rubio rivalry boiling over

Essentially traded for each other over the summer, Jeff Teague and Ricky Rubio came to a very real, if fleeting, connection Friday at Utah.
Minnesota Timberwolves' Jeff Teague (0) and Utah Jazz's Jae Crowder, back, tussle after Teague was called for a foul for pushing Utah Jazz's Ricky Rub

Wolves lose game – and tempers – in heated effort at Utah

Karl-Anthony Towns and Jeff Teague were ejected, there was shoving in front of the Wolves bench and injured Jimmy Butler took to Twitter to support his team during Friday's loss.

Shorthanded Wolves call up three from G League

The Iowa Wolves played Utah's G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars on Thursday, just a 10-minute drive from the Jazz's Vivint Smart Home arena.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica during the second half of an NBA basketball gam

Wolves start tough schedule stretch with loss in Portland

Thursday's 108-99 loss started a daunting eight-game stretch that will help determine the Wolves' playoff seeding, or if they make the playoffs at all.
Justin Patton of the G League Iowa Wolves.

G League or free agent? Wolves have options to replace Muhammad

Shabazz Muhammad's release left the Wolves with two open roster spots and just 10 available players for Thursday's game against Portland. What the Wolves do next is the mystery.
Chicago’s David Nwaba was guarded by Nemanja Bjelica in a game Feb. 24.

Bjelica steps in to fill Butler's spot with Wolves

In Monday's victory at Sacramento, Nemanja Bjelica provided a physical presence that Kings coach Dave Joerger said presented "too much size" for his team.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, right, drives against Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein during the second quarter of an NB

Going to Towns: Big man has big night as Wolves crush Sacramento

Six players scored in double figures, led by Karl-Anthony Towns' 26-point, 17-rebound performance delivered against former Kentucky teammate Willie Cauley-Stein
The Timberwolves move on without injured star Jimmy Butler by inserting Nemanja Bjelica (8) into the starting lineup at small forward and sliding Andr

Wolves weigh options in Butler's absence

The Timberwolves move on without injured star Jimmy Butler by inserting Nemanja Bjelica into the starting lineup at small forward and sliding Andrew Wiggins into Butler's big-guard spot.
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler injured his right knee during the third quarter of Friday's game in Houston.

Wolves await results of MRI after Butler's knee injury

The Timberwolves returned from the All-Star break with a dud, losing 120-102 to the Rockets while seeing Jimmy Butler helped off the court in the third quarter.
Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) and guard James Harden (13)

Rockets star Harden voices concern, support for Jimmy Butler

James Harden and teammate Chris Paul were among the many who surrounded Jimmy Butler after he collapsed to the court after planting his right leg Friday night.
Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler said he hasn’t talked to coach/president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau about whether free agent Derrick Rose

Wolves' Butler says he's leaving Rose decision up to coach

Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose were teammates in Chicago for five seasons, and Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau coached both players with the Bulls.
Team Stephen’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Team LeBron’s Paul George chatted during a stop in play Sunday night. Towns had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Wolves' Towns proves he belongs in first NBA All-Star Game

The Wolves center sparked Team Stephen off bench while Jimmy Butler decided to sit this one out.
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler chose not to play in Sunday's All-Star Game, the only player from either team who didn’t. He suggested in the weeks

'I got to rest.' Butler chooses not to play in All-Star Game

Butler chose not to play, the only player from either team who didn't. He suggested in the weeks leading to Sunday that such a game isn't suited for a guy built to defend and win.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32), forward Taj Gibson (67) and forward Jimmy Butler (23) talked things over between plays in the f

Butler knows what Towns will soon: First time is best time as an All-Star

There's only one first time, and while Butler belongs in Sunday's game for a fourth time, there's almost always a first time for somebody. This time it belongs to teammate Karl-Anthony Towns.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) and center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) guard Philadelphia 76ers forward JJ Redick (17) during overtime on D

Wolves' Butler, Towns share common motivation as All-Stars

As different as they might be, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler are Timberwolves one and the same who have found common ground.
Taj Gibson, left, and Andrew Wiggins are two of the three Wolves who have started every game this season. “The fatigue is there,” Gibson says, ref

NBA Insider: Wolves question the benefits of the revised schedule

Attempting to reduce wear on its players, the NBA opened its season two weeks earlier this year, a change that reduced the number of back-to-back games and ensured teams now won't play four games in five nights.
Rockets guard James Harden celebrated after hitting 3-pointer in the fourth quarter at Target Center on Tuesday

Wolves' home streak shattered by barrage of Houston threes

Leading by just four points with just under eight minutes left, the Rockets made four of their 22 three-pointers to lead by 16 points less than two minutes later.
Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green, right, calls a play from the bench during the second half of Monday's game.

Thibodeau not ready to let players coach just yet

Golden State's Steve Kerr turned over duties to players Monday. Will we see that with the Wolves? "I don't think we're ready for that," Tom Thibodeau said.
In his first season with the Wolves, Jeff Teague’s scoring average is the lowest it has been since 2011-12. “Someone has to make a sacrifice,” h

Making a sacrifice: Teague adjusts to unfamiliar role with Wolves

Jeff Teague has considered himself a scoring point guard for most of his NBA career> But times change and Teague says he's needed to change.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns held off Kings center Kosta Koufos, who fouled Towns as he drove to the net in the fourth quarter Sunday. Towns

Wolves more lucky than good in winning 13th in a row at home

The Wolves didn't play with the same kind of what Karl-Anthony Towns calls "energy" and "urgency" that were the bedrock of the previous 12 victories at Target Center.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns slipped past Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein for a basket in the third quarter Sunday.

Towns' three-point streak ends at bad time for Wolves

That streak ended at 10 — one more than Martell Webster had in 2011 — with a three-pointer that could have won Friday night's game at Chicago.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry was puzzled by a referee’s call in a recent game. Many other players have shown their displeasure this season about how

NBA Insider: Player-referee relations are strained

The NBA recently announced a five-pronged initiative to improve player/referee relations during a season when a notable list of superstars have been ejected.
Bulls forward Bobby Portis, left, and guard David Nwaba right, celebrate as Timberwolves forwards Taj Gibson (67) and Andrew Wiggins (22) walk away at

LaVine's big fourth quarter lifts Bulls over Wolves

In his first game against the Wolves, Zach LaVine sank three late free-throws to give him 35 points and outshine Jimmy Butler in his return to Chicago.
Zach LaVine was the highest-profile of the three players acquired by Chicago in the trade for Jimmy Butler.

The Butler deal did it: Both Wolves and Bulls helped by trade

Even though the Bulls have a bad record, the three players Chicago acquired have played well enough when healthy this season to believe the Bulls are headed in a good direction, and maybe quickly.
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, left, shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler for the game-winning basket in overtime of an NBA basketball

King everything: LeBron's block, buzzer-beater give Cavs OT win over Wolves

In a game that featured an NBA-record 40 made three-pointers, LeBron James' jumpshot at the overtime buzzer was the difference.
Tom Thibodeau

Moved-up NBA trade deadline doesn't mean trades will happen

"There's always a lot of talk, but usually not a lot gets done," Wolves coach/president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau said.
Wolves point guard Tyus Jones dunked the ball while being chased by the Cavaliers' LeBron James on Jan. 8.

Life on the road needs to get better for Timberwolves

Unlike their 12-game winning streak at Target Center, the road has not been kind to them. They are 1-8 in their past nine after starting the season 11-8 away from home.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan would fit quite nicely with the Wolves … if they are willing to take on a player who can opt out of his contract and

NBA insider: Is Wolves' third trade under Thibodeau on the horizon?

Now that the NBA has moved its annual trade deadline ahead of All-Star weekend to Thursday, the Wolves will try to buy. "You think every day how you can improve your team," Tom Thibodeau said.
Jimmy Butler (23) can see himself as an NFL player. And opponents probably wouldn’t disagree.

Jimmy Butler tries to convince people: 'I'm really a football player'

Butler sometimes carries around a football gioven to him by Steelers star Antonio Brown and said: "These are the surest hands west of the Atlantic and I just got burners. I'm just fast."
Atlanta's DeMarre Carroll breaks away with a steal with the Wizards' Rasual Butler in pursuit in 2015.

Wolves mourn death of one-time teammate Rasual Butler

A Timberwolf during training camp a season ago, longtime NBA player Rasual Butler nonetheless impressed Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Karl-Anthony Towns got past Thon Maker of the Bucks on Thursday night.

Wolves put on a show, win wire-to-wire over Bucks at Target Center

In front of a star-studded Super Bowl week crowd, the Wolves won at home for the 11th straight game by polishing off Milwaukee.
Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns

Towns passes more, shoots less as game dictates

Karl-Anthony Towns took only seven shots against the Raptors on Tuesday and still managed a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Hawks guard Dennis Schroder drove against Wolves guard Jeff Teague during the first half Monday night in Atlanta.

Messy Wolves make multiple mistakes, lose to lowly Atlanta

A botched inbounds play, two technical fouls and questions about who was supposed to be on the floor in the game's final minute were part of the late-game collapse.
Wolves reserve point guard Tyus Jones got important fourth-quarter minutes against the Nets on Saturday.

Wolves' Teague yields floor to Jones in team-first move

Midway through the fourth quarter against the Nets on Saturday, Jeff Teague told his coach to leave reserve Tyus Jones on the floor because Jones and Jamal Crawford had helped rebuild a double-digit lead over Brooklyn.
The Warriors’ Kevin Durant, right, celebrated a basket as Wolves forward Nemanja Bjelica looked on with dismay in the first half.

Wolves can't hang until the end with Warriors trio in loss to Golden State

Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry combined to score 78 points for Golden State in defeating the Wolves.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard dribbles as the Minnesota Timberwolves including guard Jeff Teague, right, watch during the second half of

Damian Lillard's big night in 'Blazerville' spells trouble for Wolves

Lillard celebrated being named to his third NBA All-Star Game with 31 points, including six of Portland's 17 three-pointers. The Wolves gave up a season-high point total in the third quarter.
Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Warriors guard Stephen Curry will pick this year's All-Star teams.

In new NBA All-Star format, somebody's got to be the last pick

In an attempt to put some pizazz back into an All-Star game that noticeably lacks it, the NBA changed formats. They will announce two teams, chosen by captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry
Jimmy Butler (23) and Karl-Anthony-Towns give the Timberwolves two All-Stars for the first time in 14 years.

Butler, Towns give Wolves two All-Stars for first time in 14 years

Western Conference coaches chose seven reserves and two Timberwolves were taken for only the third time in franchise history.
The Timberwolves will remember their late coach and president of basketball operations when they celebrate Flip Saunders Night on Feb. 15 at Target Ce

Wolves to honor Saunders with banner to be unveiled next month

A banner that honors Saunders' memory will be unveiled on Feb. 15 and all fans in attendance will receive a Saunders commemorative coin.
A Philadelphia Eagles fan since he was a boy, Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns tweeted out support for his favorite team after Sunday’s NFC Ch

Sorry not sorry: Towns doubles down on support for Eagles

A Philadelphia Eagles fan since he was a boy, Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns tweeted out support for his favorite team after Sunday's NFC Championship Game rout, and for plenty of Vikings fans, it was too soon.
Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins shot against Clippers forward Blake Griffin, on his way to 40 points in the Wolves’ 126-118 victory Monday night.

Wiggins soars for 40 as Wolves win, equal last season's victory total

Andrew Wiggins' 40-point performance was his fifth 30-point game at Staples Center. It powered the Wolves to their 31st victory this season and second straight without Jimmy Butler on the floor.
Jimmy Butler, about to be a four-time All-Star, doesn’t like playing in the defense-free All-Star Game. “I pride myself in guarding and playing ha

Q&A: Jimmy Butler says, 'I'll find my way to the top'

Get a win. All else is secondary for Wolves star Jimmy Butler, who is willing to goad teammates into being the best they can be.
Guard Jimmy Butler, left, and center Karl-Anthony Towns of the Wolves both have played well enough to be picked for the NBA All-Star Game, especially

NBA Insider: Wolves' success could mean All-Star nods for Butler, Towns

The NBA All-Star Game's reserves will be announced on TNT before its Tuesday doubleheader. Might the Wolves be well-represented?
Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau questions a call by officials during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Mag

Wolves will try to avoid first three-game losing streak

The Wolves in the past week have lost to a Magic team that had won once since Dec. 6 and were beaten 116-98 Thursday by a Rockets team the Wolves could see in the playoffs.
Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) passes the ball as Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) and guard Jimmy Butler defend during t

Wolves can't handle Houston's outside game in 18-point loss

Eric Gordon led all scorers with 30 points for Houston, which let fly from long range at will vs. the Wolves in a 116-98 victory.
Orlando Magic's Arron Afflalo, left, gets into a fight with Minnesota Timberwolves' Nemanja Bjelica, center, as D.J. Augustin, right, comes in to help

Bjelica on Afflalo after punch: 'I don't know what's wrong with that guy'

The players were ejected after Arron Afflalo threw a haymaker punch that appeared to graze Bjelica's head. Bjelica then wrapped Affalo in a headlock
Wolves star Jimmy Butler (23) drives around Orlando Magic's Mario Hezonja during the first half of Tuesday's game.

Butler chides Wolves after loss to Magic: 'We haven't done anything yet'

"They played better than us," Butler said. "They played harder than we did. They did everything right. We didn't play the way we were supposed to and they whipped our butts. I'm happy."
Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau questions a call by officials during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Mag

Wolves-Orlando game recap

A recap of the Wolves' 108-102 loss at Orlando Tuesday.
Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins (22) grabs a rebound in front of Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving (11) during the third quarter of an NBA basketbal

Wiggins doing more of everything after early-season doldrums

Once mired in a scoring slump that left him often invisible less, Andrew Wiggins has since provided many of the things that his coach wants -- and his shooting touch is back.
Oklahoma City's Paul George fouls the Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler

Wolves dominate Thunder in 'more than just another game'

The Timberwolves won both the game and their season series against Western Conference rival Oklahoma City, accomplishments that could pay dividends for the postseason.
Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague on Wednesday was fouled by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony.

Teague returns to starting lineup for Timberwolves

Jeff Teague missed seven games after Denver's Will Barton fell on his leg in an overtime victory two weeks ago. He played 26 minutes against Oklahoma City, finishing with eight points and three assists.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague

Wolves guard Teague might play Wednesday vs. Oklahoma City

After practicing Tuesday, The Wolves upgraded guard Jeff Teague from out to questionable for Wednesday's game in their injury report. Teague has missed seven games with a sprained MCL.
LeBron James took a seat on the Target Center court late in the second half, relegated to spectator while the Wolves turned back the Cavs with ease, l

Wolves take a stand, dominate Cleveland in 28-point victory

LeBron James' introduction to retooled Wolves came on a night when the Wolves raced to an early lead and led the Cavaliers by as many as 41 points.,
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