Greetings from Wolves shootaround Wednesday. Kent Youngblood here; Jerry has the day off.
Coach Kurt Rambis said he's returning Luke Ridnour to the starting lineup at point guard, with Sebastian Telfair coming off the bench. His thinking:
"I think they have a comfort level with that," Rambis said after morning shoot. "I really like Bassie's defensive energy, his ball pressure, on the second unit. I've always kind of liked that."
Ridnour started the first seven games, with the Wolves winning once, and averaged seven points a game. But a strained left hamstring put him out of the lineup for five games. That pushed Telfair into the starting lineup, where he remained for eight games. With Ridnour hurt, Bassie logged some major minutes, playing more than 30 five times.
Rambis has credited Telfair with helping the Wolves offense settle down after a chaotic start. Telfair helped the Wolves slow down, cut down on turnovers. Minnesota was 3-5 with Telfair as the starter.
"I thought he did a great job," Rambis said of Telfair. "I was very pleased. He was instrumental, he had a comfort level in that game in Los Angeles (in a close loss to the Lakers). He got us rolling. He was part of why we started playing better."
It appears Ridnour seems a good fit offensively. He has shown a comfort level with his shot and has been picking up assists. Ridnour, who is averaging 10.3 points,3.7 assists and 1.7 turnovers this season, played most of the fourth quarter in Oklahoma City. In that game he played 32-plus minutes, made 7 of 14 shots, had seven assists and 17 points. Telfair, who has battled plantar fasciitis for a while now, is also dealing with a bruised thigh.
Ultimately, the decision came down to Rambis' gut.
"I had a conversation with Bassie before shootaround today," he said. "And I let him know I was going to make that change. I let him know what I expected out of him coming off the bench.
That's about it. I'll get back to you after the game.