--Greetings from Target Center, where the Wolves are about to try to end a two-game losing streak against a banged-up Nets team missing three starters and a top reserve.
--First, here is a statement from the Wolves organization on the passing of Vern Mikkelsen:
“The Minnesota Timberwolves organization is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Minneapolis Laker and NBA Hall of Famer Vern Mikkelsen. During his playing days at Hamline University and the Lakers, Vern was a dominant force on the court and one of the game’s great power forwards. Vern was a great friend to our organization and we offer our condolences to his family.’’
--I asked Wolves coach Rick Adelman – who was a 12 or 13 when Mikkelsen finished playing, if he was a fan of the Lakers growing up. Not until they moved to Los Angeles, he said.
--Meanwhile, it appears we made be about to watch Kevin Garnett’s final game on the Target Center floor.
“He’s been a great player,” Adelman said. “He plays with such dedication, and he works so hard. That’s why they’re a dangerous team. They can put a game together. He’s been terrific for so many years. What can you say about him? All Star all the time, MVP of the All Star game when I coached him. I think he really energizes his teammates.”
--This is yet another pretty big game for the locals, playing on the front end of their second back-to-back this week. The team will board a plane to Houston after tonight’s game.
“You can’t slide backwards, the schedule doesn’t get any easier tomorrow. This is a big game for us.’’
And it’s winnable. The Nets are without Jason Terry, Brook Lopez, Andrei Kirilenko and Deron Williams. The Wolves need to come out and put this one away early.
--One final thought: I believe Kevin Love, who is coming off a tough shooting day Wednesday, is primed for a big one tonight.
That’s about it. I’ll get back to you after the game.