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


Chicago WSox - S. Carroll 12:05 PM
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson 12:07 PM
Toronto - M. Buehrle
Detroit - B. Farmer 12:10 PM
Minnesota - Y. Pino
Seattle - C. Young 12:35 PM
Boston - B. Workman
Baltimore - B. Norris 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
San Francisco - T. Lincecum 3:05 PM
Washington - J. Zimmermann
Houston - C. McHugh 6:05 PM
Cleveland - D. Salazar
St. Louis - S. Miller 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan
Atlanta - E. Santana 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Leake
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez 6:10 PM
Milwaukee - W. Peralta
San Diego - A. Cashner 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Miami - T. Koehler 7:10 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:25 PM
Texas - N. Tepesch
LA Angels - C. Wilson 8:05 PM
Oakland - J. Lester
NY Mets - J. deGrom 8:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 3:30 PM
Tennessee 6:00 PM
Dallas 6:00 PM
Washington 6:30 PM
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Houston 8:00 PM
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Chicago 6:00 PM
Toronto FC
Montreal 6:00 PM
Red Bull New York
Chivas USA 6:30 PM
New England
Houston 6:30 PM
D.C. 7:30 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Vancouver FC 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 3:00 PM
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Indiana 4:00 PM
Minnesota 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How do you like the Kevin Love trade?

Weekly Question