Wolves players say 'it's tough' without Adelman

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 10, 2013 - 11:16 PM
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Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman.

Photo: Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

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NEW ORLEANS, LA. - You know you're down on your luck when not only do you have just 10 healthy players available for a game but your coach is absent too.

In Wednesday's 22-point loss at Oklahoma City -- which tied their biggest loss of the season -- the Wolves played without surgery-bound Kevin Love, late-scratch J.J. Barea as well as coach Rick Adelman, who missed his second consecutive game while top assistant Terry Porter took over.

Adelman stayed in Minnesota to be with his wife, Mary Kay, who has been hospitalized, while the team started a four-game trip. He did not join the Wolves on an off-day on Thursday in New Orleans but could do so on Friday and coach that night's game against the Hornets.

"Everybody knows it's tough without coach," center Nikola Pekovic said. "But the assistants do a great job planning the game. Of course we want him back, but we'll be fine without him."

Adelman's sons have remained working their jobs with the Wolves -- player development coach David on the road with the team, director of player personnel R.J. out scouting -- while their dad has been away from the team but talking daily with both Porter and David Adelman.

"He's still very much in contact with what's going on," Porter said. "He has gotten multiple views on how everything is going."

Barea doubtful

The Wolves didn't practice Thursday after playing the previous two nights, but they listed Barea as doubtful for Friday's game.

Barea traveled to Dallas -- where he played five seasons -- before Wednesday's game to seek treatment for an aching back that kept him from action against the Thunder. He strapped a big heat pack to his back when he was not on the floor in Tuesday's home victory over Atlanta.

It wasn't known on Thursday if he would rejoin the team in time for Friday morning's shootaround. The Wolves play at New Orleans on Friday and at San Antonio on Sunday before finishing a four-game trip at Dallas on Monday.

Waiting for Love

A date for Love's surgery to repair two fractured bones in his right shooting hand hasn't been set. The New York City specialist whom Love visited Wednesday isn't available to perform the surgery until late next week, but the Wolves and Love are hoping it can be done before that.

Dr. Andy Weiland determined Love's hand will need eight to 10 weeks after the surgery before he can play again.

Back for back-to-backs

Point guard Ricky Rubio said he felt fine Wednesday night after playing back-to-back games for the first time since returning from March knee surgery.

He said he doesn't know when he will return to the starting lineup, and even though Wednesday's blowout loss didn't provide the opportunity, he sounds as though he's ready to be the guy who finishes the game like he did all of last season.

When asked how hard it is to watch the end of the game when he played nearly all of every fourth quarter last season, he said, "Too much. I don't think I can do it again."

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