OAKLAND, Calif. – After an eventful Wednesday in which there was speculation over the reason behind Jimmy Butler’s absence from the Timberwolves lineup, Butler was back on the floor Friday with team against Golden State.
Butler missed Wednesday’s victory over the Jazz for what coach Tom Thibodeau called “precautionary rest,” and it might not be the last time he misses a game for that purpose as he tries to stay healthy while the Wolves work out a trade for him.
But he was on the floor Friday as the Wolves tried to win on the road for the first time this season.
Also returning to the lineup was guard Tyus Jones, who missed Wednesday’s game after he was a late scratch because of a right foot injury during warmups. Jones had his foot wrapped in an ice bag after shootaround but said he was ready to play.
Wolves point guard Jeff Teague missed his second consecutive game because of a left knee bruise. Thibodeau said Teague’s status to return was “day to day.”
“He’s got to let it clear up a little bit and we’ll go from there,” Thibodeau said.
Butler could be in line to miss another of the Wolves’ upcoming games either Sunday or Monday. The Wolves rested Butler the first week of the season against the Mavericks when they were playing the second end of consecutive games. The Wolves play Portland on Sunday and the Clippers on Monday.
“We’ll see how he feels,” Thibodeau said.
A unique view
If it wasn’t for Jones having to sit out Wednesday’s game, Derrick Rose might not have had his 50-point night at Target Center. Because of Jones’ and Teague’s injuries, Rose had to play nearly 41 minutes at point guard against the Jazz.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Jones said.
He said he was watching the game from the locker room while receiving treatment for his injury but felt the emotion most fans in the arena were feeling as Rose capped off the win with a career night.
“It was crazy, just happy, hype,” Jones said. “That was a good win for us. To see Derrick play like that was, I think, everyone sees everyone’s excitement for him and there’s a reason for that. Everyone sees the work he puts in every day, the type of guy he is as a teammate both on and off the court. Everybody was just extremely happy for him.”
Jones got the start in Teague’s place Friday, marking his first start of the season.
Making a statement
All the injuries that happened Wednesday meant James Nunnally played his first significant minutes of the season. Nunnally, a versatile sharpshooter who played in Europe in recent years, played 21 minutes and had two points and three assists against the Jazz. Thibodeau said he has been impressed with Nunnally’s work ethic even though Nunnally hasn’t played in the regular rotation.
“The other night, I was in the office and he was in there shooting,” Thibodeau said. “He wasn’t in the rotation and he didn’t know if he would play. When you see stuff like that, it tells you when the opportunity comes, he will be ready to play. He did a great job.”