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.

Wolves sign guard Othyus Jeffers

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves news Updated: April 8, 2014 - 1:19 PM

As expected, the Wolves announced they had signed guard Othyus Jeffers for the remainder of the season. It was a move that became necessary after several Wolves players were injured; the team announced Monday that Chase Budinger (ankle) and Shabazz Muhammad (knee) were out for the rest of the season, and it appears it will be difficult for Nikola Pekovic (ankle) to get back on the court as well. Kevin Martin could miss his third game tonight with a sore foot.

The 6-5 Jeffers was with the Wolves in the preseason, appearing in two exhibition games. He spent most of the season playing for the Iowa Energy in the D-League, where he averaged 20.9 points and 9.9 rebounds in 37.7 minutes per game. He was signed to a 10-day contract by the Spurs on Jan. 24, appearing in four games.

Jeffers will wear number 0 and should be in uniform tonight against San Antonio at Target Center.

 

Beat-up Wolves face busy week

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves practice news Updated: April 7, 2014 - 2:40 PM

The Timberwolves are, quite literally, limping to the season’s finish line.

News out of practice – or rather, a walkthrough among the players still walking – was that rookie Shabazz Muhammad and Chase Budinger are both done for the season.

Budinger played very well in Miami on Friday, but sprained his right ankle 1 minute into Saturday’s loss at Orlando. Muhammad left the Miami game in the second quarter with what has turned out to be a sprained MCL in his right knee. He will not require surgery, but will not play in the final six games.

Add to that the uncertainty of the Dante Cunningham situation, Kevin Martin’s sore right foot and Nikola Pekovic’s ankle bursitis and you have what could be a very short roster for the Wolves when they host San Antonio Tuesday – and going forward.

“I worry about how many people we’ll have tomorrow to play,” coach Rick Adelman said. “All I know is Boz and Chase are probably finished for the year. And the other guys are just really banged up. So we’ll see who we have tomorrow and we’ll have to move on. It’s an opportunity for people to show what they can do, just l like [Gorgui Dieng] has. We have six games left. In spite of those injures you have to go out and compete. You have to win these games, and play together, have some fun at the end of the year. It’s not easy, but it’s what you have to do.’’

There is a possibility the Wolves will sign a free agent for the rest of the season just to fill out the bench.

Here are some other injury updates:

--Adelman said he didn’t have an update on Pekovic, but it didn’t sound like the big guy will be playing any time soon.

--Kevin Martin said his ankle started hurting after the Memphis game April 3. He wouldn’t have practiced today even if the team had, he said, adding the ankle feels “the same.”

“We’ll just have to see how it feels tomorrow,” said Martin, who missed both games in Florida.

--Kevin Love, who missed Saturday’s game with back spasms, said he would play Tuesday. “This last week is going to be tough, but we’re going to fight through it,” Love said. “We only have eight or nine guys. It’s tough. We’re fighting the battle of attrition. We’ve got to make it fun.’’

One last interesting note.  Adelman was talking about the double-overtime victory in Miami Friday when he said this: “The Miami game was probably the best one we’ve had since I’ve been here. I mean, it was a game where they had us down, a lot of calls went against us and we kept staying with it and ended up winning the game. ‘’

That’s about it for now. Have a great rest of your day. 

Beat-up Wolves face busy week

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves practice news Updated: April 7, 2014 - 2:39 PM

The Timberwolves are, quite literally, limping to the season’s finish line.

News out of practice – or rather, a walkthrough among the players still walking – was that rookie Shabazz Muhammad and Chase Budinger are both done for the season.

Budinger played very well in Miami on Friday, but sprained his right ankle 1 minute into Saturday’s loss at Orlando. Muhammad left the Miami game in the second quarter with what has turned out to be a sprained MCL in his right knee. He will not require surgery, but will not play in the final six games.

Add to that the uncertainty of the Dante Cunningham situation, Kevin Martin’s sore right foot and Nikola Pekovic’s ankle bursitis and you have what could be a very short roster for the Wolves when they host San Antonio Tuesday – and going forward.

“I worry about how many people we’ll have tomorrow to play,” coach Rick Adelman said. “All I know is Boz and Chase are probably finished for the year. And the other guys are just really banged up. So we’ll see who we have tomorrow and we’ll have to move on. It’s an opportunity for people to show what they can do, just l like [Gorgui Dieng] has. We have six games left. In spite of those injures you have to go out and compete. You have to win these games, and play together, have some fun at the end of the year. It’s not easy, but it’s what you have to do.’’

There is a possibility the Wolves will sign a free agent for the rest of the season just to fill out the bench.

Here are some other injury updates:

--Adelman said he didn’t have an update on Pekovic, but it didn’t sound like the big guy will be playing any time soon.

--Kevin Martin said his ankle started hurting after the Memphis game April 3. He wouldn’t have practiced today even if the team had, he said, adding the ankle feels “the same.”

“We’ll just have to see how it feels tomorrow,” said Martin, who missed both games in Florida.

--Kevin Love, who missed Saturday’s game with back spasms, said he would play Tuesday. “This last week is going to be tough, but we’re going to fight through it,” Love said. “We only have eight or nine guys. It’s tough. We’re fighting the battle of attrition. We’ve got to make it fun.’’

One last interesting note.  Adelman was talking about the double-overtime victory in Miami Friday when he said this: “The Miami game was probably the best one we’ve had since I’ve been here. I mean, it was a game where they had us down, a lot of calls went against us and we kept staying with it and ended up winning the game. ‘’

That’s about it for now. Have a great rest of your day. 

Cunningham joins team, plays and starts for injured Love in Orlando

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves players, Wolves news Updated: April 5, 2014 - 6:37 PM

Wolves forward Dante Cunningham has joined the team in Orlando for tonight's game against the Magic.

Coach Rick Adelman said Cunningham will play and he not only played, he started when Kevin Love was a late scratch because of back spasms following last night's double-overtime victory at Miami.

According to the NBA's labor agreement with its players, Cunningham has a right to go back to work while the legal process plays out in his felony domestic assault charge submitted Friday in Hennepin County Court.

Cunningham declined comment through a team spokesman and almost certainly will not say anything about it while the process progresses.

The NBA doesn't discipline players for their legal matters until a player pleads guilty or is found guilty.

Other news tonight:

* Nikola Pekovic again won't play tonight and with the clock ticking on the season's end, it's getting more and more likely with each passing game that he doesn't play again this season. If he's still going to have to play through pain, what's the point?

* Chase Budinger will start in Kevin Martin's place at shooting guard.

Martin will miss his second consecutive game because of what he calls a shooting pain in his heel that started bothering him after Wednesday's Memphis game.

Budinger is the better fit against Magic guard Arron Afflalo rather than J.J. Barea, who started last night in Miami.

* Shabazz Muhammad won't play tonight because of what he called a sprained knee injured Friday in Miami when Chris Andersen fell into his leg.

Muhammad said he's hopeful the injury heals in a matter of days, but there's not many days left.

Kevin Martin, Pekovic out tonight at Miami

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves pre-game, Wolves news Updated: April 4, 2014 - 6:26 PM

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.

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