Wolves' backup big men get some scrutiny in loss

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 20, 2012 - 6:05 AM

Greg Stiemsma and Dante Cunningham got chances as stand-ins for Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love.

CHICAGO - After the week his team had with hands, Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman didn't take any chances Friday in Chicago.

He sat out starting center Nikola Pekovic and his swollen hand on a night when the Wolves previewed life without both Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio for the next month and more with a 92-81 loss to the Bulls at United Center.

Adelman called it his decision, and said it didn't make sense to risk Pekovic hurting his hand again, not after Love followed the big guy into the doctor's office on Wednesday and discovered he had broken his shooting hand doing knuckles push-ups.

"That's a pretty physical team out there, and I didn't want to see him on the sidelines because of an injury right now," Adelman said.

So Adelman used the occasion to get a long look at Greg Stiemsma and Dante Cunningham, whom he started at center and power forward against a Bulls team that outrebounded the shorthanded Wolves by six and outscored them 14-2 to start the game and 50-35 by halftime.

Pekovic said he would have played with his hand padded if it had been a regular-season game.

"We don't need any more broken hands," he said.

Manhandled

Adelman said he'll start both Cunningham and Derrick Williams at power forward in these final three preseason games that started Friday in Chicago in an attempt to define his rotation by the Nov. 2 opener. The two players split playing time almost evenly Friday.

"I thought we could be a lot better," Adelman said. "I just think they need to be more active. They just manhandled us around the basket, and we've got to be better than that."

Getting his chance

Stiemsma started and played more than 26 minutes after he played just three minutes against the Bulls six days earlier. Adelman praised him for his active play, particularly in the second half. He scored nine points and blocked two shots.

"I'm still getting used to the system, still getting used to playing with these guys," Stiemsma said, "but I felt pretty good out there."

Love hurts

Rubio accompanied the team to Chicago for moral support. He'll soon have a partner: Adelman wants Rubio and Love around the team as much as their rehabilitation schedules allow.

"I don't know, we have so much bad luck on this team," Rubio said when asked about Love joining him on the injured list. "It's hard for us. It's our star. I don't know how to say, just it was too much for us because he's so much for our team. I talked to him. He's sad. He's mad. But there's nothing he can do but move forward."

No luck, no Luke

Starting point guard Luke Ridnour missed his third preseason game Friday because of a bad back that hasn't improved. Without him, Adelman started J.J. Barea again and played Will Conroy and Malcolm Lee off the bench.

"I'm definitely concerned," Adelman said. "We have a couple weeks and it's really important we have both him and J.J. healthy. With him hurting like this, it's going to be tough."

Etc.

• The Wolves waived guard Jermaine Taylor after the game to get their roster down to 17 players. They must be at a maximum of 15 by the season opener.

• Rubio is hopeful he can begin to move laterally again in about two weeks and said he's probably a month away from practicing 5-on-0 with no contact. He began shooting some jump shots this week for the first time since his March surgery.

• Lee saw his first preseason action, playing the game's final 6:38 after he injured his groin during a training camp practice. He made a three-pointer and scored six points. "He attacked the basket, he made a couple shots," Adelman said. "I thought he did all right."

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Chicago 92, Timberwolves 91

    Saturday October 20, 2012

    Pre- season action, Friday, Oct. 19.

  • Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham (33) controls the ball...

  • CHICAGO 92, WOLVES 81 (EXHIB.)

    Up next: vs. Detroit • 7 p.m. Wednesday • MTS Centre, Winnipeg

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - J. Lester 7:07 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
New England 14 FINAL
Kansas City 41
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Carolina 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Dallas
Colorado 8:00 PM
Calgary
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Is it the right move to replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close