Howard arrives; Pekovic, Barea and Roy not playing tonight
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- November 16, 2012 - 1:32 PM
Josh Howard passed his physical, officially signed with the team and worked out with his new teammates at this morning's shootaround.
He will play tonight against Golden State, backing up Andrei Kirilenko at small forward for an injury-raved team that once again has nine healthy players.
Starters Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Roy and reserve J.J. Barea all are out again tonight against Golden State and now will have five days to heal before the Wolves play again, Wednesday against Denver.
Howard will play, after working well after shootaround with some of his new teammates and assistant coach Terry Porter to learn the most basic of the team's plays.
He's not sure how much he'll play -- Rick Adelman said Thursday he's use Howard 5-6 minutes a half to spell Kirilenko -- but he's ready to play in the NBA again for the first time since last spring's playoffs with Utah.
"The Timberwolves were looking for somebody to step in and fill in until those guys get back," Howard said, referring to the aforementioned three as well as Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and Chase Budinger. "I'm glad they thought of me. I got tired of working out every day. I was ready to be with a team."
Howard had athroscopic surgery on his knee in March and returned to play for the Jazz in the playoffs.
Asked how that knee is, he said, "It's as good as I can take it. I've been doing everything to rehab it, doing everything I can to get it how I want it to be. I feel like my normal self. Just time will tell until I get out there and play again."
He said he tried playing pickup games back home in Dallas while he waited for a team to call, but found it little competition so he just worked out on his own to stay ready.
He worked out for the Wolves brass Monday when they were in Dallas for a game against the Mavericks that night.
Howard said he watched that game and Wednesday's loss to Charlotte.
"There's a bunch of fighters on this team," he said. "That's the type of stuff I love, guys who don't quit."
Howard could have been a Timberwolf nine years. In fact, many Wolves fans felt he should have been.
Instead, the Wolves took Ndudi Ebi late in the first round in 2009, bypassing Howard who was drafted shortly thereafter.
"I remember Ndudi Ebi's name getting called before me," he said. "That was kind of motivation. No disrespect to him, but I just used that as motivation throughout my career and this is another opportunity. Minnesota gave me a shot, so I'll just go out and give it my all."
Howard suggested he'll fit it with the Wolves' style -- more up and down, he said, like when he thrived in Dallas and Washington -- than he did with Utah's half-court offense.
© 2013 Star Tribune