Scramble for healthy players leaves Wolves short vs. Spurs

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 8, 2014 - 1:34 PM

The Wolves were going to practice Monday. Really, that was the plan. Unfortunately coach Rick Adelman didn’t have enough healthy players.

“I don’t know who the healthy people are,” Adelman said, only half-joking.

For the record, forward Kevin Love will return after missing Saturday’s game in Orlando because of back spasms. But forwards Shabazz Muhammad and Chase Budinger are out for the final six games of the season. Center Nikola Pekovic’s status for the rest of the season remains in question due to his sore ankle, and it appears guard Kevin Martin could miss a third straight game with a sore foot.

Add in the uncertainty of forward Dante Cunningham and his legal situation and Adelman could have as few as nine players available for Tuesday’s game against San Antonio.

Budinger played very well Friday in Miami but sprained his ankle in the first minute of Saturday’s game at Orlando. Muhammad left the Miami game in the second quarter with what was diagnosed as a sprained MCL in his right knee. He will not need surgery.

“It’s an opportunity for people to show what they can do,” Adelman said. “Just like [Gorgui Dieng] has. In spite of the injuries you have to go out and compete.’’

Love missed Saturday’s loss in Orlando with back spasms after playing nearly 45 minutes in Friday’s double-overtime victory in Miami. But he said he would play Tuesday.

“This week will be tough,” said Love of a schedule that has the Wolves playing three home games in four days. “But we’re going to fight through it. We’re fighting that battle of attrition, but we’ve got to make it fun.’’

Adelman said there is a chance the team could sign a free agent before Tuesday’s game. One candidate would be guard/forward Othyus Jeffers, who was with the team in training camp. Jeffers is currently playing for the Iowa Energy of the D-League.

Make-up day

Tuesday’s game was originally scheduled for Dec. 4 in Mexico City, an event spoiled when a generator malfunction filled the arena with smoke. Adelman called that night one of the strangest in his long coaching career.

“It was really weird,” he said. “I never experienced that before.”

Adelman isn’t pleased that the reschedule date created a back-to-back. Indeed, the Wolves play their final six games in a span of nine nights.

Meanwhile, the team has been working hard to fill the arena with fans. Originally the game was not, of course, a part of the team’s season ticket package.

“It’s been a challenge,” said Ryan Tanke, senior vice president and chief revenue officer for the team.

Tanke said the Wolves first approached their season-ticket holders, and about 50 percent of them bought tickets for the game. That plus some work on group sales and some local marketing should get some fans into the seats. “I hope we can get 10,000 into the building [Tuesday],” he said. “The Twins not playing could help walk-up.’’

One for the books

How impressive was Friday’s double-overtime victory in Miami?

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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 100 FINAL
Charlotte 115
New York 80 FINAL
Chicago 111
Golden State 108 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Utah 94
Denver 114 FINAL
Portland 120
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 4 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Buffalo 3 FINAL
Colorado 5
Dallas 4 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 73 FINAL
NJIT 78
Notre Dame 66 FINAL
Kentucky 68
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 FINAL
Columbus 1
Portland 1 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Houston 0
Seattle 0 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 69 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 73

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