Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

The Russians are coming: Wolves open preseason play tonight

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves injury report, Wolves pre-game, Wolves training camp Updated: October 7, 2013 - 11:40 AM

The Wolves play the first of seven preseason games tonight against CSKA Moscow at Target Center.

And it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to coach Rick Adelman, who isn't a big fan of international games unless he happens to be overseas.

"If you're going to Europe, it's what you do," Adelman said. "There are a lot of teams in our league. I don't know why or what the reasoning is. Last year, it was Israel (the Wolves play Maccabi Bazan Haifa) and this year it's a Russian team. I'd just as soon play NBA competition. This is supposed to be a pretty good team. But playing NBA teams you get see everybody and what everybody (in the league) is like. It is what it is. You have to go out and adjust to what's going on."

Guard J.J. Barea and forward Dante Cunningham are questionable for tonight's game.

Barea was not at this morning's shootaround because of personal reasons.

Cunningham didn't practice Sunday because of those "flu-like symptoms." He was at this morning's shootaround but still not feeling well and is a game-time decision tonight.

CSKA Moscow -- the team for which Alexey Shved played five seasons -- is one of the richest clubs in Europe and has a roster that includes former NBA players Nenad Krstic, Jeremy Pargo, Sonny Weems as well as Sasha Kaun, Viktor Khryapa, Milos Teodosic and Shved's 2012 Olympic and 2013 Eurobasket teammate Vitaly Fridzon.

This probably was a much more attractive matchup for the NBA and its international sales department when Andrei Kirilenko played for the Wolves.

"I'm sure that's what happened," Adelman said about a game that was scheduled when both Shved and Kirilenko played for the Wolves. "I'd rather be playing an NBA team, but that's not the schedule."

Adelman is ready for his team to be playing someone else, no matter who it is.

"I think we need one," he said. "You don't really get a good feel where you are until you play another team and see how guys respond against another team's offense and running your stuff against their defense."

Adelman said he wants to play lots of people, particularly since tonight's game starts a stretch where the Wolves play four games in the next six nights, including a weird back-to-back set Wednesday at Toronto and Thursday in Sioux Falls.

He intends to play 12 or 13 guys tonight, then will play the other four or five in Toronto.

If Cunningham and Barea don't play, that makes his decisions tonight easier.

Then the Wolves don't play for eight days after Saturday's home game against the Raptors until they go to Montreal to play Boston on Oct. 22.

"That's not the way I'd want to do it, but it's the way they set it up," Adelman said. "Just like I'm not a big fan of traveling to Canada twice in the preseason, going through customs and everything. You don't get seven days off in the regular season, so we'll have a pretty good idea of where we are and have a whole week to look at film and get back ready for the last three games."

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