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 out, Pekovic to start at center for Wolves

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves pre-game Updated: February 4, 2012 - 6:33 PM

Coming off a 27-point, 11-rebound effort against New Jersey, Nikola Pekovic will start at center for the  Wolves tonight against Houston.

Technically, that's because Darko Milicic (thigh contusion) isn't playing. But I wonder if Pek wouldn't be starting even if Milicic was healthy. We'll have to wait on that.

Greetings. Kent Youngblood here. I'm covering tonight's Wolves game, with Jerry recovering from his trip to the swamps of Jersey.

It's interesting that it's Houston tonight. The Rockets, of course, are coached by Kevin McHale. McHale was at the Timberwolves helm when Kevin Love was acquired in a draft-day trade in 2008. But do you remember who was the second-round pick of the Wolves that year? That's right. Pek. The big Montenegran stayed in Europe to play a couple more years before joining the Wolves last season.

There are no other changes in the starting lineup. In other notes:

--The Wolves are playing the Rockets for the second time this week and for the third time this season. They'll be done with Houston by the 17th of this month. Meanwhile, the Wolves have yet to play Denver, Portland, Phoenix or Golden State. Wolves coach Rick Adelman was commenting on that tonight before the game. "They want us (NBA coaches) to vote on the reserves for the All Star game, and I haven't even seen four or five of the teams," he said. "I don't know how you do that, how you justify it when you haven't seen the guys play that much. ... But it's just a season you have to deal with as it goes."

--Here is McHale on Pekovic: "Pek's very rugged. He's used to rolling guys out, hitting guys. Guys in our league flop and hold and do all kinds of stuff. I bet he must have had million pick and roll offensive fouls last year. ... He sets screens. He hits people. I imagine he ran down the court last year and ran into people and they fell down, and he was like, 'That's what they're supposed to do when I hit 'em.' ''

That's about it for now. I'll get back to you after the game. 

 

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