J.J., Dante expected to see first preseason action
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- October 9, 2013 - 2:15 PM
The Wolves continue this four games-in-six days stretch tonight with their action against an NBA opponent tonight in Toronto.
Dante Cunningham and J.J. Barea both are here with the team and are expected to play some tonight after each missed Monday's preseason-opening loss to CSKA Moscow.
Cunningham missed Sunday's practice and Monday's game because he was feeling ill and Rick Adelman sas no need to push him Monday night even though Cunningham participated in warmups and said he was ready to play. Barea took an absence Monday because of a personal matter.
Also expect rookies Gorgui Dieng and Lorenezo Brown and big man Chris Johnson to play tonight after they sat out Monday just because Adelman can't play 16-18 guys in a game.
That'll mean somebody(ies) sit out tonight. Perhaps that is Othyus Jeffers and A.J. Price after they got relatively long runs Monday.
The Wolves had a brief meeting with NBA officials after shootaround this morning to go over points of emphasis this season.
Some of them also greeted and hugged Raptors assistant coach Bill Bayno, who left the Wolves last summer to become former Wolves coach Dwane Casey's top assistant here.
Bayno said after the Raptors' shoot that it was a tough decision but several factors weighed in his decision: The uncertainty over whether Adelman would return and the departure of David Kahn, who hired him, and arrival of Flip Saunders, a guy who doesn't know well. The chance to work with Jonas Valanciunas, another big man (his specialty) after Bayno worked with big Pek so much in Minnesota. And Toronto is the kind of big, international city that makes him feel at home after growing up near New York City.
Here's a video preview of the game with my Wolves Daily report from Toronto today.
After tonight, the Wolves fly away to Sioux Falls, S.D. for one of the more unusual back-to-back sets -- Toronto, Sioux Falls -- in NBA travel with a game against the Bucks there Thursday night.
© 2013 Star Tribune