Wolves: Injuries make for hard row to hoe

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 13, 2007 - 8:16 PM

Back from Europe, the Wolves are a closer, defensively improved team. But there's lots of work ahead on offense.


Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman conducted practice at the Target Center, only a day after returning from Europe.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Timberwolves came back from Europe tighter as a team and closer to what coach Randy Wittman wants on defense, but with a lot of work to be done on offense.

Unfortunately, with two of the three available point guards injured, much of that work will get harder.

Neither Randy Foye nor Sebastian Telfair was able to practice Saturday. Foye has tendinitis in his left knee, a lingering but not serious problem that will require some rest; he was limited to short duty in the Wolves' loss to the Celtics in London. Telfair sprained his left ankle while warming up for practice Saturday and was on crutches by the time it ended. Wittman had wanted to start settling on personnel groups and settling into to the revamped offense in the coming days. Now it appears that the Wolves -- who will play four preseason road games in six days starting Monday in Memphis -- will have to get to that point without one or both of those point guards.

"It's hard to get a whole lot done when you have one point guard [Marko Jaric] for two groups," Wittman said after practice. "So we had to run some other guys that aren't going to play the point. So we didn't do as much as I would have anticipated we would have done if we'd had those two."

The injuries come at a crucial time. Wittman has a bunch of new faces and a new offense to teach them all. He came away from the loss to the Celtics convinced that his team had to do a better job getting the ball into the post. Indeed, that has become a mantra for Wittman, who doesn't want the team to be the perimeter, jump-shooting squad it has been in recent seasons.

Wittman has a lot of options when it comes to folks receiving the ball inside, starting with Al Jefferson. But getting the ball there? Difficult with Foye and Telfair watching from the sidelines.

"Well, the thing is to be healthy on Nov. 2," Wittman said, referring to the regular-season opener. "We were able to get some things done [Saturday], and we'll continue to work. I'm not going to rush people out there who are hurt. We'll play point guard by committee." When asked who might make up that ad hoc group, Wittman jokingly started with Jefferson. But seriously, after Jaric, guys like Ricky Davis, Corey Brewer and Gerald Green will do a lot more ball-handling.

With new people and a new scheme, Wittman said that the players are still thinking too much rather than reacting. What's needed are more practices and more reps.

"It will take time," Brewer said. "It's hard now, with both [Foye and Telfair] down. But I'd rather have injuries earlier than later. Nobody really knows the offense [yet], and we have a bunch of new guys."

Meanwhile, Wittman will look at different combinations of players in the coming games; the Wolves could make some roster decisions after returning from back-to-back games in Memphis and Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday.

The good news? The two-week European trip may have helped the players get to know one another.

"I learned we can be a great team," Jefferson said. "I see that -- if we do what the coaches tell us."

« It's hard to get a whole lot done when you have one point guard for two groups. So we had to run some other guys that aren't going to play the point. »

Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman, on his injury situation at point guard

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question