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.

Darko! will start, Randolph is season's first healthy scratch

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves injury report, Wolves pre-game, Wolves news Updated: February 1, 2012 - 7:10 PM

Darko! is back in the starting lineup tonight after that three-game absence because he wasn't feeling well and Anthony Randolph is the first healthy scratch of the season tonight against Indiana at Target Center.

Wes Johnson also remains a starter at small forward, which means Michael Beasley's coming off the bench again this evening.

So...why Darko! and not Nikola Pekovic in the starting lineup?

His size and length against 7-3 Roy Hibbert mostly.

Rick Adelman again will start Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour in the backcourt even though the Pacers start 6-8 Paul George at shooting guard because he'd rather have two ball-handlers than more size.

It probably doesn't hurt that J.J. Barea will be back, too, even though he likely will only play in very short spurts.

Adelman said before the game that rookie Malcolm Lee will be sent down to Sioux Falls in the D League to play his way back in shape "very soon."

Their options: Road games Thursday and Friday at Springfield or home games next week.

Lee and Randolph are the two scratches tonight, the first night the Wolves have had to make a choice now that Barea, Martell Webster and Brad Miller all are back.

Why Randolph, you ask?

Probably because Adelman prefers to have Anthony Tolliver if he needs him against David West and Tyler Hansbrough and because he wants to have Miller available to defend big Roy if Darko! is limited by his illness.




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