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Rick Adelman lost his coaching debut with his fifth NBA team.

Renee Jones Schneider, Mct

Adelman will miss game to attend mother-in-law's funeral

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA
  • Star Tribune
  • December 27, 2011 - 4:44 AM

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman will miss Tuesday's game at Milwaukee to attend his mother-in-law's funeral, the team announced after Monday's season-opening 104-100 loss to Oklahoma City.

Adelman worked his first game as Wolves coach on Monday but did not travel with the team on its late-night flight to Wisconsin.

Top assistant coach Terry Porter will coach against the Bucks, a team he coached from 2003 to '05.

Porter, a Milwaukee native, has served two stints as a head coach: The Bucks reached the playoffs in his first season, but he was fired after they went 30-52 in his second.

He also coached Phoenix to begin the 2008-09 season, but he was replaced midseason by Alvin Gentry after the Suns started 28-23 in Shaquille O'Neal's first year there.

What might have been

J.J. Barea spent part of his Christmas watching his former team Dallas get thumped by Miami in a rematch from last summer's NBA Finals. The guard signed a four-year, $19 million contract with the Wolves two weeks ago after the Mavericks offered him only a one-year contract so they could keep their salary-cap options open next summer.

"I watched most of it," he said. "The first part was hard. It was hard to watch. I wished it would have been different to be there with my old teammates and try to do it again, but nothing ... I'm excited to be here, new team. It's over now, so let one go and keep going."

Remembering when

Wolves forward Michael Beasley has known Thunder superstar Kevin Durant since both were boys. He admits he liked him better when he was 5-10 rather than 6-11.

"He was easier to guard until he could see over everybody," the 6-10 Beasley said. "Believe it or not, I used to be taller than him."

Eye of the beholder

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook came looking for former UCLA teammate Kevin Love, and the two chatted in the hallway for about 15 minutes before the game.

While he waited for Love to come out of the Wolves locker room, someone told Westbrook that his buddy was in there admiring his new slimmed-down physique.

"He thinks he looks good," Westbrook said, "but he's still fat in my eyes."

New role

No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams made his NBA debut in a new role off the bench. He said he talked to Oklahoma City sixth man James Harden (the two share the same agent) about the role.

"It's a little different, but he scores more coming off the bench than people who start," Williams said of Harden. "It really doesn't matter. I've been waiting for this day for a long time."

Williams finished with 13 points and six rebounds in his first game. He, along with fellow Wolves newcomers Barea and Ricky Rubio, played the entire fourth quarter.

Etc.

• Lazar Hayward, traded from the Wolves to the Thunder on Dec. 13, missed the game because of an injured thumb. Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks praised his toughness, defense and shooting range.

• Brooks praised Bloomington's Cole Aldrich for his summertime hard work, even if it might not instantly translate into playing time.

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