Chase Budinger getting his game into shape

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 27, 2014 - 9:29 AM

Chase Budinger is just now regaining his wind after October knee surgery.

– His teammates reached the season’s midway point last week and have rounded the turn, headed down the long homestretch in this 82-game NBA season.

Timberwolves forward Chase Budinger, meanwhile, is approaching the end of October and headed toward November.

Nine games after he returned from a second surgery on his knee meniscus cartilage, Budinger remains in what he considers his training camp, a process where his knee has felt fine but the rest of his body has been adjusting.

“I’m hopefully mostly toward the end,” he said, sizing up the length of his own personal camp. “Hopefully, that’s where I am right now.”

Budinger’s 24 minutes played in Saturday’s 115-104 loss at Portland were his most in the nine games since he returned Jan. 8 against Phoenix from a second knee surgery to resolve torn meniscus cartilage.

He went 2-for-7 from the field — including 1-for-3 on three-pointers — and scored six points on a night when Wolves coach Rick Adelman searched for bench help to relieve his battered and bruised starters and didn’t find it.

The Blazers’ bench outscored the Wolves’ backups 34-15, and Budinger was the only one of eight reserves used who played more than 12 minutes. He played those 24 partly to replace starter Corey Brewer after he got into early foul trouble and partly because Adelman is trying to familiarize Budinger with his teammates while also working him back into playing time after two surgeries in the same part of the same knee within 11 months.

“It just seems like he has been kind of out of sync,” Adelman said. “When he gets an open look, he’s just not knocking it down, and he has been playing shorter minutes, too. So it’s hard to get something going. His history says he’s going to make shots. You just got to be patient with him.”

A career 42.9 percent shooter, including 35.8 percent from three-point range, Budinger is shooting 28.6 percent from the field so far, including 6-for-20 on three-pointers. That’s 30 percent, or better than what he’s shooting from inside the arc.

Budinger said his surgically repaired knee is fine, and he hasn’t experienced swelling in it. But it’s the rest of his body — his legs, his conditioning — that is working to keep up.

“I feel the recovery is starting to get a little easier after games,” Budinger said. “I do feel a little more comfortable each game with cuts and running up and down the court. The biggest thing right now is my endurance. That’s what I’m struggling with, especially my legs. After I’ve been in there a few minutes, I’m just trying to get some lift on my jump shot. It’s not there.”

He injured his knee in a game at Chicago early last season, underwent surgery in November 2012 to repair his torn meniscus and then had another surgery in October in which the surgeon removed a portion of the meniscus after he experienced swelling while preparing for a training camp in which he never participated.

“He’s had two injuries, so he’s coming back from two of them,” Adelman said. “It seems like more guys have had that happen to them: [Russell] Westbrook and Chase and Derrick Rose. It’s just happening. You don’t know why. It’s an unknown.”

Adelman coached Budinger before, in Houston. That’s why the team traded the 18th overall pick in the 2012 draft for him. Budinger played 23 games last season and then signed, at age 25, a three-year, $15 million contract in July before he began experience swelling and pain in late September.

“He has got to get used to playing with the guys, and they’ve got to get used to him,” Adelman said. “That’s one thing he has always had: When he played in Houston, Kyle Lowry was great at finding him, and they really played great together. We had some guys there who passed the ball a lot better. I think he’d be a lot better if I can get him on the court more with Kevin [Love] because Kevin is a guy who can pass the ball for us and Chase’s cutting would be more effective.”

Adelman played Budinger with Love and three other starters after Brewer picked up two quick fouls in the first two minutes of Saturday’s game. Budinger played 13 consecutive minutes, most of them with Love, Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic, and then played another 10-plus minutes in the second half with a combination of starters, including Love, and members of the second unit.

“That’s something that will come with time,” Budinger said about learning to play with teammates both old and new all over again. “I haven’t been around these guys for so long, I’m like a newbie jumping in on the team. It will get there. The chemistry will take time to build. That takes time. It has only been a few weeks.”

 

  • related content

  • Wolves-Chicago game preview

    Sunday January 26, 2014

    7 p.m. at Chicago • FSN, 830-AMPreview: The Timberwolves had a three-game winning streak — including two on the road...

  • RandBall: Garnett's legacy more with Celtics than Wolves

    Monday January 27, 2014

    Good times

  • Chase Budinger pressured Golden State’s Harrison Barnes during the first half Friday. Budinger is trying to play his way into shape after recovering from knee surgery in October.

  • Wolves forward Chase Budinger

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Carolina 6:00 PM
Columbus
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Montreal 7:30 PM
Chicago
Arizona 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close