“Yeah,” Wolves center Nikola Pekovic said. “If you’re healthy probably, you can do it. If you’ve got all healthy players all year, I guess you can do something more about it.”
Could that be next year?
“I hope,” he said. “I hope.”
Now that the Wolves have earned Adelman his 1000th NBA coaching victory by winning three of four games and six of their last 10 before Tuesday night, what’s left to play for here in the season’s final six games and nine days?
They still have the chance to alter the NBA’s postseason, whether it’s serving as spoiler with two games left against a Utah team that’s fighting to keep the Los Angeles Lakers out of the playoffs or attempting, unsuccessfully, to delay the Warriors’ celebration one more night.
“No, I don’t care about other teams, to be honest,” Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko said. “I don’t think about trying to screw somebody up. The goal is to yourself and to represent yourself in the best possible way. We’re thinking about our game, we’re not thinking about the other team. We’re professionals. We get paid money for this.”
At least the Wolves entered the season’s final eight days knowing for sure that two-time All Star Kevin Love will not play again this season because of arthroscopic surgery that likely will be done Wednesday while he gets his healing broken hand examined at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery.
“I knew his knee bothered him some, but it was a decision that was out of my hands until they said he could play,” Adelman said. “Like I’ve said all along, we have to deal with the guys we have here. Hopefully, he’ll get everything done and be that much further ahead.”
Pekovic on Monday did something even Kevin Love hasn’t done yet in his NBA career: He became the first Timberwolf since Al Jefferson in January 2009 to be named the Western Conference’s Player of the Week.
Love has never won the honor, not after that 30-point, 30-rebound game in November in 2010, not after he averaged nearly 30 points and 14 rebounds one month. In those weeks, the Wolves didn’t win big. Last week, they went 3-1 while Pekovic averaged 25 points and 8.5 rebounds.
“This organization has lost so much,” Adelman said. “If you have a good week, your team has to have a good week. I’m really glad for Pek. I’m glad he got the recognition.”