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.

Wolves roster growing healthier

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves pre-game, Wolves news Updated: January 27, 2012 - 11:59 AM

 

Rarely has an NBA head coach seemed less enthusiastic about the prospect of having a bunch of injured players get healthy.

Greetings. Kent Youngblood here. I'll be covering the game with Jerry Zgoda getting a much-deserved day away from the team. 

Here's the news: Shooting guard Martell Webster and center Brad Miller are available to play tonight. Point guard Luke Ridnour, who missed the Dallas game with a sore knee, is also ready to return. Michael Beasley (mid-foot sprain) will be a game-time decision. J.J. Barea (hamstring) and Malcolm Lee (knee) are both out.

This is a big moment for Webster and Miller, both of whom are coming back from off-season surgery. Webster has been rehabbing from a second microdiscectomy surgery in two years while Miller is coming back from microfracture surgery in his knee.

So, for a Wolves team that has been dreadfully shorthanded for the last couple games, this is great news, right? Well, it would probably be better if coach Rick Adelman had, say, one full practice to help make decisions on a rotation.

And he hasn't had that. "It's still very, very difficult," Adelman said after the morning shoot-around. . "I don't know how you bring a bunch of people back and make decisions on who's going to play and who's not going to play. I really have no idea. Even though there are guys who are prepared to play, what kind of rotation we're going to have? I really don't know."

Adelman said he will make decisions on the fly based on how tonight's game with the Spurs is going. "Every time you throw somebody out there you affect somebody else," Adelman said. "I just have to think on it, and see how the game goes."

There is no question Ridnour's return will take pressure off a Wolves team that has been critically shorthanded at the guard position of late. But there are all sorts of questions as to how other players will fit in. And that's before Adelman really knows what kind of condition Webster and Miller are in. "For all the (returning) people, conditioning is going to be a factor," Adelman said. "So we'll wait and see."

Get the feeling Adelman is going to wait and see? Still, going forward, it will be interesting to see how the return of Webster, Miller and Beasley will affect the team. With Miller out, Nikola Pekovic has seen his game take a step up, particularly the last couple games. The return of Beasley would limit the amount of time Derrick Williams would see at the small forward position. And what about shooting guard? Webster, when healthy, is a proven commodity. But Wayne Ellington has played very well of late. And how will Wes Johnson's minutes be affected? 

Guess we'll have to wait and see. 

That's about  it for now. I'll try to get back to you before the game. And then, again, after it's over. Have a good day.

 

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