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 Wolves are starting Ronny Turiaf, Thad Young, Corey Brewer, Kevin Martin and J.J. Barea tonight against an injury-depleted Oklahoma City team in Tulsa.
Where'd that lineup come from?
Answer: From practice yesterday.
That was the team out of three split up for practice that won the most scrimmages at BOK Center Saturday afternoon, so that's who's starting.
Coach Flip Saunders said he'll experiment with different lineups tonight, "depending on how things go"
Martin will play for the first time this preseason now that he's deemed recovered from that groin injury, but Shabazz Muhammad won't play tonight after he returned yesterday for his first hard practice back from that heel injury.
The Wolves have traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to play Milwaukee tonight but those fans who are expected to fill U.S. Cellular Center won't see Ricky Rubio play.
Flip Saunders said before the game that he'll rest Rubio tonight after the team practice hard for three consecutive days this week.
He said those practices Rubio -- coming off last month's FIBA World Cup appearance -- tired out Rubio some and he didn't want to risk a fatigue injury at this point.
Rookie Zach LaVine will start at point guard instead.
"Play the young guys," Saunders said.
Saunders said he would have paused more about not playing Rubio for the Iowa audience if he didn't plan on playing a lot of the other players -- Andrew Wiggins and LaVine, namely -- those fans paid to see play in a city the Wolves haven't visited since 2002.
Kevin Martin (groin) and Shabazz Muhammad (heel) won't play, either, and center Kyrylo Fesenko is home ill and won't play either.
The Bucks will play without injured points Brandon Knight and Nate Wolters, Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova among others.
Rick Adelman met with the media before tonight's regular-season finale against Utah at Target Center and it sure didn't sound like he's ready to announce his retirement either before or after the game.
That might be an entirely different matter.
Adelman said he will meet soon with Flip Saunders and Glen Taylor to discuss the future. Both sides have two weeks now to opt out of Adelman's fourth and final contract year next season, but Adelman suggested it won't take nearly that long.
"Then it will be determined," he said.
Still, he wouldn't say before the game that this is it for him, for this reason:
"As I said before, I want these guys to finish the season out and I've asked them to stay with it," he said. "Don't start looking ahead, thinking about what's going to happen tomorrow. Get this win tonight. That's how I tried to approach it. If I did it any other way, I wouldn't be doing what asked them to do."
For now, he reiterated that it's important to focus on the one game remaining and getting the Wolves to .500 -- at 41-41 if they win -- for the first time since 2005.
"It would mean something for sure," Adelman said. "It's not what we wanted to do but certainly finishing .500 is improvement over last year, I guess improvement over the last 10 years here."
An interesting tidbit: Coaching superagent Warren LeGarie is in the house tonight. He represents George Karl and many other coaches and said he's here to see and lend support to Alexey Shved's European agent, who's also in town. He gave the distinct impression that Karl isn't interested in a rebuilding job like this one. We'll see...
The Warriors got big, bad news today, just hours before they play the Wolves tonight at Oracle Arena.
With a playoff series with the L.A. Clippers or Oklahoma City looming, the Warriors announced starting center Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely after he fractured a rib in Sunday's overtime loss at Portland.
"We're a no-excuse team," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "It hurts, but we move forward."
Starting forward Andre Iguodala also isn't playing for Golden State, his knee is being rested for the playoffs that start this weekend.
Wolves center Ronny Turiaf is not expected to play tonight, either, after he played just four minutes Sunday in Sacramento because of that same right knee that caused him to miss 19 consecutive games in February and April.
The Wolves are getting their starting Kevins -- Love and Martin, of course -- back in the lineup for tonight's game at Sacramento.
Love is expected to start after he missed Friday's 112-110 victory over Houston because of a hypextended elbow injured two nights earlier against Chicago.
Martin is back after five games away because of what the team called a sore foot but which he said before tonight's game probably is some of the dreaded plantar fasciitis as well.
Meanwhile, Rudy Gay is out for the Kings and former Wolves forward Derrick Williams will start.
Just in time for Williams, who has a couple of his most active games against the Wolves this season.
In fact, since he scored 26 points against them at Target Center on March 16, Williams has scored 48 points in 12 games played -- exactly 4 points a game -- and didn't have more than eight points in any of those.
He played just five minutes -- none in the second half against a small opposing lineup -- and scored two points in Saturday's loss to the Clippers in L.A.
Kings guard Isaiah Thomas is available to play after he missed the last 10 games because of a quad contusion.
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