MEMPHIS - The Timberwolves played their first preseason game on American soil in Memphis on Monday night, the first of four road games in six days following their European tour. By the time Saturday night's game concludes in Milwaukee, coach Randy Wittman wants to accomplish two things.
"No. 1, I'd like to see us get healthy," Wittman said on a night when point guards Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair both sat because of injuries. "And I'd like to have a little bit better understanding who plays well together in combinations."
While he continues to experiment, Wittman presented a starting lineup on Monday -- the opening night of that trip that will also take them to Atlanta and Indiana -- that could very much resemble opening night on Nov. 2 against Denver: Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff and Corey Brewer in the frontcourt, Ricky Davis in the backcourt. Marko Jaric started for Foye, who along with Telfair was not in uniform.
By Saturday night, the Wolves also might know better how they intend to turn 16 guaranteed contracts and 17 players into a 15-man-roster -- 12 active, three in reserve -- they can carry into the regular season.
The Wolves' management team -- Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale, along with Jim Stack, Rob Babcock and Fred Hoiberg -- is along on the trip.
"We evaluate that every day a little bit," Wittman said when asked if the Wolves might make personnel moves. "I think you do it when the time's right. When you've made up your mind. When you know what direction you're going in, there's no need to wait. That's what we're working through."
Brewer's mother, high-school coach and other family members and friends made the 3½-hour drive from his hometown north of Nashville through thunderstorms to Memphis.
"This is about as close as it gets for a home game for me," said Brewer, the Wolves' first-round draft pick from two-time NCAA champion Florida.