SACRAMENTO, CALIF. -Timberwolves veteran guard Luke Ridnour hasn't been the player he was most of last season during these last couple of weeks, but his coach knows better than to ask if an ailing back that kept Ridnour out of three preseason games is to blame.
"You can ask him, but he won't tell you," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said.
A season ago, Ridnour was perhaps the Wolves' most dependable shooter. This season, he has struggled to find his shot as much as Adelman has struggled to limit his playing time in an attempt to keep his legs fresh and his back pain-free.
Ridnour shot 60 percent from the field in the team's first four games, and 35.3 percent in the eight games since then, leading into Tuesday's game at Sacramento. Along with Malcolm Lee, he's part of a starting backcourt that has been outscored by the opposition's counterparts 167-42 in the four games leading to Tuesday night.
"I'm not one of those guys who talks about injuries, so I'm just going to come out ready to go," Ridnour said when asked if his back disk pain has subsided or if he just plays with it. "I'm not hurt. I think we're all just trying to figure each other out, where we're going to get shots from. I don't really think about it. I've had those years where you think about [his shooting percentages] and it doesn't help.
"I'm just going to keep shooting it. It'll go in. I'll get it going. I'm not worried at all."
Ridnour isn't answering if he is playing hurt, but ...
"I don't think he is," Adelman said when asked if Ridnour is healthy. "You watch him shoot the ball and you watch things he does well and it's not happening right now. I think he's trying to play through it. I don't think he's 100 percent."
Love, but no glove
Wolves forward Kevin Love played Tuesday without that padded protective glove on his right shooting hand that he wore in his first three games back until he ripped it off midway through the fourth quarter Saturday at Golden State.
Love calls the glove "restrictive" and attributes his poor shooting (40 percent on field goals, 18.8 percent on three-pointers and 64.7 percent on free throws) to it.
"It's a precautionary thing," Adelman said about the glove. "Obviously he feels it has been hindering him."
Former Wolves center Brad Miller just won't go away: The guy who played for Adelman with three different franchises, including the Kings, owns a home in Sacramento, so he stopped by for the morning shootaround and Tuesday night's game.
He also, at Adelman's invitation, came to training camp in Mankato last month for a few days. These days, he has been busy in retirement, hunting in Texas, Indiana and Michigan, and is about to head to Nebraska this weekend.
"I think he's looking for a day of per diem, personally," Adelman said of the $120 daily stipend NBA players get for meals. "He got it in training camp and he thinks he gets it here if he shows up."