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.
Just another quick update with the news that Kevin Love is out of tonight's game with the hyperextended right elbow sustained Wednesday.
He may have been a late scratch; in his pre-game press conference coach Rick Adelman indicated Love would be able to play.
Dante Cunningham started in Love's place.
The Wolves didn’t shoot around this morning, but the Houston Rockets did. Here are some items from Rockets coach Kevin McHale:
--Center Dwight Howard and guard Patrick Beverley will not play tonight. Both will miss their eighth straight game, Howard with a left ankle strain and Beverley with a right knee sprain. That gives the Rockets an expected starting five of Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones at forward, Omer Asik at center and James Harden and Jeremy Lin at guard.
--The last time these two teams played Wolves rookie center Gorgui Dieng had 22 points and 21 rebounds, perhaps his most impressive performance in what is becoming a very impressive finish. Count McHale as a fan. “He kind of came out of nowhere,” McHale said. “He’s active around the rim. He’s rebounding very well, blocking shots.’’
--McHale also talked about how much better Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio has been of late. “He’s been way more aggressive from the games I’ve seen than he’s been in the past,’’ McHale said.
That’s about it for now. I’ll get back to you before the game with a Wolves injury update.
The Wolves injury list got a little longer Wednesday. Backup point guard J.J. Barea will miss tonight’s game with back spasms and a sore neck. Wolves coach Rick Adelman said Barea got hit during Tuesday’s victory over San Antonio.
Add Barea’s name to a list that already includes Nikola Pekovic (ankle), Chase Budinger (ankle), Kevin Martin (foot) and Shabazz Muhammad (knee).
So what does that mean? That the Wolves will have only 10 healthy players available for tonight’s game, and one of those is recently-signed guard/forward Othyus Jeffers. It also means that Alexey Shved, who has seen his playing time dwindle as the season wore on, might get a bunch of minutes tonight.
“He and Ricky (Rubio), they’re our point guards tonight,” Adelman said. “So we’ll have to go with Alexey, and he’ll have to step up.”
It will be the same starting lineup for the Wolves: Rubio with Robbie Hummel, Kevin Love, Gorgui Dieng and Corey Brewer.
Some injury news tonight in Miami:
* Kevin Martin is a late scratch because of a sore right foot and will not play tonight against the Heat.
J.J. Barea will start in the backcourt alongside Ricky.
* Nikola Pekovic won't play again, so Gorgui Dieng gets the start at center again.
* Dwyane Wade and Greg Oden won't play for the Heat, but Ray Allen will try to play after missing five games because of a stomach virus.
Also, Dante Cunningham was charged in Hennepin County court this afternoon with a felony count of domestic assault by strangulation.
The details aren't pretty. Here's our story on the Star Tribune web site.
Nikola Pekovic is out tonight against Memphis at Target Center after he played fewer than seven minutes Monday against the Clippers because of that troublesome ankle but...
Ronny Turiaf is back.
The Wolves' backup center is available to play for the first time since sustained a knee mone bruise in a Feb. 19 game against Indiana.
How much and how well he'll play, well...
He said he's been ramping up his activity the last two weeks, doing more intensive work on the treadmill and 1-on-1, 2-on-2 and 5-on-0 courtwork that has included some spirited 1-on-1 games with executive Calvin Booth.
"I don't know," he said when asked how much he expects to play. "I'm dressing. We'll see what happens."
He'll come off the bench behind rookie Gorgui Dieng, who moves back into the starting lineup with Pekovic out again.
Coach Rick Adelman said he believes Pekovic still is just day to day and not done for the year with just nine games remaining.
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