The Timberwolves tonight play the injury-depleted L.A. Clippers for the second time in four days. They’ll do so once again without Nemanja Bjelica, whom Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said this morning won’t play.
Bjelica didn’t accompany the team to Memphis for Monday’s game there. He joined the Wolves in L.A. for shootaround today, but will miss his eighth consecutive game because of that mid-foot sprain that he said recently remained sore.
Thibodeau also said Jimmy Butler is fine and will play, even if Butler played it coy this morning.
He sprained his left pinkie finger in Monday and wore a wrap on it today. The Wolves haven’t listed him in their injury reports, but when asked this morning if he’ll play tonight Butler said, “You’ll just have to find out, won’t you?”
The Clippers tonight will get back shooter Danilo Gallinari, who has missed 13 games because of a strained left glute.
The Wolves shot at UCLA even though a wildfire was burning in Bel Air not far away. You see smoke rising from a fire that closed the 405 freeway and snarled the morning commute all over. Butler kept his eyes on news of the fires from Ventura County down to the edge of the UCLA campus because his Malibu home is somewhere in between.
“I still love L.A.,” he said.
So does teammate Jamel Crawford, who returns to Staples Center to play his former Clippers team there for the first time.
Lynx star Lindsay Whalen interview Butler at morning shoot. He is joining the team’s TV broadcast crew of Dave Benz and Jim Petersen for eight games this season, starting tonight.
She has done this once before.
“It’s fun to be that close to the action and just talk the game,” she said.
Her big goal tonight? Limit the times she says “You know.”