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.
The Thunder's getting the league's leading scorer and another starter back in the lineup tonight against the Timberwolves at the arena formerly known as Ford Center.
Kevin Durant and Jeff Green both missed the last two games -- actually, Green has missed the last four -- because of sprained ankles, but that didn't stop Russell Westbrook and the Thunder from going to Boston and Milwaukee over the weekend and winning at both places because of both defense and grit.
Both declared themselves after this morning's shootaround ready to go tonight against the Wolves.
That means Serge Ibaka and James Harden return to their bench roles.
It'll be interesting to see what defensive matchups Kurt Rambis decides upon. Does he ask Beasley to try to defend his old childhood friend or does he put Wes on Durant and switch Beasley to guard Sefolosha?
(I'm guessing the latter).
Another thing to watch tonight on FSN: After that career night on Friday, Darko said the next step is for him to prove he can be consistent, something he hasn't been much during his eight-season NBA career. Let's see how he follows up that 23-point, 16-rebound, 6-block, 5-assist game,
Btw, Westbrook today was named the Western Conference's Player of the Week for leading the Thunder to a 4-0 week by averaging 23 points, 7.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds.
Kurt Rambis this morning said Sebastian Telfair will start again at point guard tonight, which means Luke Ridnour comes off the bench again. Check out the size disparity when Telfair and Westbrook are bumping each other.
One other thing: Jonny Flynn said he caught the highlights of Sidney Rice's return with the Vikings yesterday and said it's good to see his occasional rehab partner back on the field.
He also said it doesn't change his timetable, which remains somewhat mysterious. Rice had almost the identical surgery that Flynn did, but he had it a month later -- in late August -- and was back playing yesterday.
"We're still not at four months yet," Flynn said, referring to the three-to-four month timetable original given. He's getting a little sensitive being asked daily about his progress.
He said he and the team hasn't yet begun to look at the Sioux Falls Skyforce schedule, if indeed he returns with a rehab stint in the D League.
Here are the options:
The Skyforce play at Fort Wayne tomorrow night (so that's very very unlikely), then play at Bismarck on Friday and at home Saturday.
They don't play again until that next Friday. He could play back-to-back games in the same city if they so choose on Dec. 3 and 4, when the Skyforce play first Iowa and then Reno and its new head coach, Eric Musselman.
Six weeks after surgery to repair his hip, Jonny Flynn reported today on his Twitter account that he's off crutches and back walking for the first time in pool physical-therapy workouts.
Flynn called the workout "great."
"Felt good to be able to walk," he wrote.
He said he worked out at same place Vikings receiver Sidney Rice is rehabbing his injured hip.
"His spirits are high and he's moving well," Flynn wrote.
Spain is now 1-2 in pool play at the World Championships after it blew an 18-point, third-quarter lead and lost to Lithuania 76-73.
Ricky Rubio went 1-for-7, scored three points, had two rebounds, two assists and two turnovers in 29 minutes after having 11 assists in Sunday's victory over New Zealand.
Undefeated Team USA finishes up pool play with games Wednesday against Iran and Thursday against Tunisia.
Wolves assistant GM Tony Ronzone texted from Turkey the other day raving about Kevin Love's rebounding and team-first attitude. Ronzone is a scouting director for the Team USA program.
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