Clean-shaven but not ridiculed this time, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love practiced Saturday and then took a final neurological test that could clear him to play the season's final two games.
Still, he was uncertain whether he will play against Golden State on Sunday, even though he was confident he'd be cleared by the NBA to do so.
"I feel better, I feel good," he said. "I'm just, as you can imagine, I'm a little bit out of shape from lack of activity. I'm not really sure yet. I'll see how I feel tomorrow and just go from there."
With just two games left in a season lost to a series of injuries, why come back for two relatively meaningless games when there's the risk he could get hit in the head again, as he did when Denver's JaVale McGee inadvertently elbowed him in the temple on April 11?
"That's up to the medical staff and myself to decide," Love said. "If it is, it is and if it isn't, so be it. I'd like to try and be a leader and get back for these two games."Another game-time call
Injured point guard Luke Ridnour also participated in Saturday's light practice wearing a brace on the ankle he sprained in a game at Sacramento on April 2.
Wolves coach Rick Adelman said he was uncertain whether Ridnour would play.
"We didn't do a whole lot, so it was hard to tell," he said, referring to the condition of both Ridnour and Love. "We'll see what they decide tomorrow."Baby face
Love was barely recognizable Saturday after he had shaved off that bushy beard he had much of the season and then got rid of that creepy mustache he sported when he tweeted a photo of himself at the barber's Thursday.
"He looks like he's about 12 years old," Adelman said. "I don't think anybody recognized him."
Love had several playful Twitter exchanges with tweeps who mocked his 1970s porn-star mustache. "I was going to keep it," he said, "but I couldn't look in the mirror and see my dad every time."Faint praise?
Minneapolis barbers have been busy: Wolves guard Martell Webster appeared at practice Saturday with his variation of Mohawk buzzed off, replaced by a shaved version.
"His is worse than mine; I can pat this down and make it look somewhat decent," Love said, patting a thick head of hair. "I just look young."Paying attention
Like Wolves fans everywhere, Adelman is keeping track of the chase between Denver, Phoenix and Utah for the Western Conference's eighth and final playoff spot in the season's final days.
If the Jazz made the playoffs, the Wolves would get Utah's first-round draft pick -- most likely in the mid- to late teens -- this summer. If it doesn't, the Wolves won't own a first-round pick because they traded theirs away long ago for Marko Jaric.
"We're certainly following it," Adelman said. "That'll add more excitement to the draft for us."Etc.
• Love's iPod music selection is so eclectic that it includes some Serbian rap music, which he played for his teammates the other day. In doing so, he achieved the impossible. "I played it for Darko [Milicic], and he was happy," Love said. "Yes, he was. Pek [Nikola Pekovic] was moving, too. That was funny."
• The Wolves and forward Anthony Tolliver's agent have had informal talks about a contract extension this summer. No formal offers can be made until July 1. Tolliver will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. "There have been talks, but you never know on something like that," Tolliver said. "I'd love to stay, but so much can happen between now and then."
• Adelman on the new looks sported by Love and Webster: "Summer's coming, it looks like."
• Here's what Ricky Rubio tweeted Saturday along with a picture he took of Love in the weight room. "Ok, he doesn't look like a mexican anymore but I think he looks even worst ... Here is our superstar."
|Boston - WP: M. Ott||4||FINAL|
|Minnesota - LP: M. Hoffman||3|
|UC Santa Barbara||38|
|San Diego St||73|
|Utah Valley U||83|
|Cal State Fullerton||56||FINAL|
|Long Beach State||66|
|Sam Houston St||70|
|New Mexico St||70|
|Miss Valley St||68||FINAL|
|(22) Middle Tennessee||69|
|William & Mary||65|