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.
This sounds like the Timberwolves, doesn't it?
The Celtics make their only visit to the Target Center tonight and this time they'll be without all of their new Big Three.
That means no Kevin Garnett, no Rajon Rondo and no Paul Pierce.
Rondo out for the season with that torn ACL.
Garnett is heading into the second week of what likely will be two weeks out because of an ankle/foot injury.
And Pierce is scratched tonight because of personal reasons.
Nikola Pekovic is starting at the Wolves at center, btw, after missing Saturday's loss to Memphis because of a sprained ankle.
Somebody asked Boston coach Doc Rivers before tonight's game if he remembers what life is like without those three.
"Yeah, vividly, about five years ago," he said. "It has been a while. I think it has happened before. I'm not even sure. I know we played a couple games with Ray (Allen), Paul and Kevin. We played a couple of those, but that was resting guys."
Rivers acknowledged this could possibly be the last time Garnett is scheduled to play back in Minnesota.
"I think yeah, every year we don't know if it's his last time," Rivers said. "Obviously, I hope not and we all hope not. But you never know with Kevin. Every summer he's deciding if he's coming back or not. I would hope this isn't because you would want him to play in his last game here. So let's hope it isn't."
Wolves center Nikola Pekovic will miss tonight's game against Memphis with a sprained left ankle. It is unclear how long he will be out with the injury, which occurred during Friday's victory over Oklahoma City.
Greg Stiemsma is expected to draw the starting assignment against Memphis center Marc Gasol.
Pekovic had a 22-point, 15-rebound against the Thunder in his eighth game back after missing eight games with an abdominal strain. Pekovic also missed five games in late January with a thigh contusion. He also missed two games in November with an issue in the same left ankle.
In all, tonight will mark the 16th game Pekovic will miss due to injury this season.
Kevin Love did not get his healing shooting hand scanned yesterday or today and will be re-evaluated sometime next week.
He is not expected to return to his New York City surgeon, so expect him to get his hand imaged sometime then and the results sent to his doctor to see if he will cleared for contact action.
That doesn't necessarily mean he won't play again this season, but the clock is ticking.
If he gets evaluated at the end of next week, that leaves about 12 days -- and eight games at the very most -- left in the season.
Love was told he'd be re-evaluated in two to three weeks when he visited his NYC surgeon earlier this month.
Next week will be three weeks.
The NBA today says official Jason Phillips made the wrong call at the end of last night's Lakers-Wolves game at Target Center.
But you knew that already, didn't you?
The league reviewed the play and told the Wolves this morning that Bryant fouled Ricky Rubio at game's end and this afternoon is expected to make an official explanation.
Rubio was left livid when he launched a long game-tying three-pointer at the final buzzer that Bryant contested by getting a hand on Rubio's wrist, contact that caused the final shot to fly left and fall short.
The league said:
"Ricky Rubio attempted a 3-point shot at the buzzer of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 120-117 win over the Timberwolves on March 27. Video review by the league office confirmed that Kobe Bryant fouled Rubio while Rubio was in his shooting motion. Rubio should have been awarded three free throws."
You can see the league's explaination with a video link here.
Bryant after the game said, "That's not a foul. Nah, they ain't calling that ...."
He also said this about if the foul had been called and if Rubio had made the three free throws to force overtime, "We would have went into overtime and won the game. Simple as that."
Rubio was near tears after the game when he spoke about the final play.
“I don’t like to lose," he said. "I hate it. Sometimes it’s tough when you give everything and something like that happens. Just keep going through, it’s tough, it’s tough.”
Asked what kind of look he had at the basket and if he felt he would have made the shot, Rubio said, “I don’t want to think about it.”
Asked if the referees would have called a foul if it hadn’t been a superstar contesting his shot, he said, “I mean, what do you want me to say? I don’t know.”
The Lakers just completed their shootaround at Target Center this morning minus one Metta World Peace while the Wolves stayed home and rested after winning big last night in Detroit.
Jodie Meeks will start in place of World Peace for a Lakers team that's still scrapping to make the playoffs.
World Peace has returned to L.A. after an MRI taken Tuesday in Minneapolis revealed a cartilage tear in the lateral meniscus of his left knee.
"I feel bad for Metta, but hopefully it's not too serious," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said after shoot. "At this time of the year, it's not easy."
The Lakers have been bit by injuries all season -- not like the Wolves mind you, but bit nonetheless.
When asked if the latest has caused him to ask what else can happen, D'Antoni said, "No, well, other stuff can happen. Don't tempt fate a little bit. It happens. Every team it happens to. Just look at Minnesota, they're just getting their guys back now and not all of them. You just fight through it."
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