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.

On the brink: Wolves nearing playoff elimination tonight at Denver

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves injury report, Wolves players, Wolves pre-game Updated: April 11, 2012 - 1:47 PM

It sure has seemed a foregone conclusion for days, even weeks now, but it's almost mathematically certain now:

The Wolves officially will be eliminated from the playoff race if they lose at Denver tonight, Utah wins at Houston and Phoenix wins at Memphis.

"I just think we need to play better," Kevin Love said. "I know we have eight games left. I've mentioned the window is closing rapidly, if it's not closed already. So mathematically, we seem to be close to out of it, but I want to play like we're not."

The Wolves held their morning shoot at Pepsi Center today and it looks like Michael Beasley and J.J. Barea both will continue to play on with their assorted nagging injuries.

Luke Ridnour (sprained ankle) and Darko Milicic (whatever) did not make the trip, and I doubt whether you'll see Darko ever play for the Wolves again.

One other thing:

The NBA announced yesterday that the Las Vegas Summer League will be back this July after it got cancelled last summer because of the labor lockout.

I talked to Derrick Williams and Wes Johnson about whether they might play in it and both were non-committal about it.

Williams said he'll have to see how his other summer obligations, most noticeably his endorsement deal with Under Armour, affect his schedule and said he'll have to talk to his agent about it.

Most players participate only before and after their rookie seasons, so Johnson certainly wouldn't be obligated to take part after his second NBA season. But given the way this season has gone for him, you'd think he might give it serious consideration.

He also said he'd have to discuss it with his agent.

Btw, Williams and Johnson share the same agent, Rob Pelinka, who also represents Kobe Bryant.

 

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