Wolves notes: Grizzlies coach Joerger back in his home state

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA
  • Updated: February 1, 2014 - 12:17 AM
hide

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger watches his team play.

Photo: Nikki Boertman, Mct

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Dave Joerger coached the Memphis Grizzlies for seven months and this season’s first 44 games and it didn’t really hit home that a kid from Staples, Minn., now is a NBA head coach until he and his wife, Kara, ate lunch Thursday in a Minneapolis skyway food court.

Revelation can come in the most unexpected places, can’t it?

“It has been a whirlwind,” Joerger said, referring to how his life has changed since he signed a contract in late June to replace Lionel Hollins. “At times, you get tired and you pick your head up and here I am in Minnesota. Maybe now is the time it has really hit me, all the years in the minor leagues, coming up from a small town and a small college and here I am, a NBA coach. It’s really a humbling deal.“

He coached Friday in the same arena he visited with his high school team to watch Houston play the expansion Wolves. It was so long ago that Kenny Smith played point guard for the Rockets.

On Friday, more than 40 family members and friends came from Staples as well as Sioux Falls, S.D., Fargo and Bismarck, N.D. Joerger washed uniforms and coached minor league teams in all three cities on his way to landing an assistant coach’s job with the Grizzlies in 2007.

“I gave everybody my brother’s phone number and let them call him,” Joerger said. “It is fun. It is exciting. A lot of people had a part in this. So many people had influences on me growing up, so many people in this state and in my hometown that mentored and helped me. So it’s not me out there. It’s all of Staples and a lot of Minnesota. It’s really cool.”

Big man makes a difference

With Friday’s victory, Joerger has coached the Grizzlies to a 10-1 record in their past 11 games. They went 7-1 in the last eight after center Marc Gasol — the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year a season ago — returned following a 23-game stretch where he sat out because of a sprained knee ligament.

Coincidence, or not?

“He’s huge for them,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said, not referring to Gasol’s 7-foot-1 height. “He gives them so much stability out there.”

Turned around

The last time these teams played, Gasol didn’t play for the Grizzlies and big Nikola Pekovic did for the Wolves at Memphis last month. This time, Pekovic is out with bursitis in his ankle and Gasol is back.

“That doesn’t hurt my feelings,” Joerger said. “Pek’s good. He’s really good. He’s so strong. You know he’s going left shoulder and it just doesn’t matter because he’s so strong.”

Where’d he go?

Wolves guard Alexey Shved returned to his usual place in the rotation, entering the game in the second quarter after he didn’t play in Wednesday’s victory over New Orleans. Adelman opted to use Luc Mbah a Moute’s defense against Tyreke Evans in that game instead because the Pelicans were without three big players, including young star Anthony Davis.

“Last game was purely matchups,” Adelman said. “It’s going to change from game to game, half to half. I’m not sure, depends on what we need.”

Etc.

• Ronny Turiaf started Friday at center for Pekovic for the second consecutive game.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
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: Grade the Timberwolves season

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close