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.

• Adelman said Shved’s limited (or no) playing time in the last three games before Friday is not related to his broken nose and the mask he must wear to protect it.

• Rookie Robbie Hummel and Pekovic were the Wolves’ two inactive players Friday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 12:00 PM
Chicago
Oklahoma City 2:30 PM
Cleveland
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Phoenix
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 15 1st Half 4:08
Connecticut 25
Boston College 12:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Virginia 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Indiana 12:30 PM
Ohio State
Stony Brook 1:00 PM
Binghamton
Cincinnati 1:00 PM
UCF
Maine 1:00 PM
Hartford
Monmouth 1:00 PM
Manhattan
Fairfield 1:00 PM
Marist
Rowan 1:00 PM
Princeton
St Bonaventure 1:00 PM
Rhode Island
Duke 1:00 PM
St Johns
Saint Peters 1:00 PM
Siena
Drake 1:00 PM
Wichita State
Vermont 1:00 PM
UMass Lowell
Seton Hall 2:00 PM
Butler
NJIT 2:05 PM
South Alabama
Northern Iowa 3:00 PM
Illinois State
Louisville 3:00 PM
Pittsburgh
UMBC 3:30 PM
Albany
Niagara 3:30 PM
Iona
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 28 1st Half 1:16
Georgetown 37
St Johns 35 1st Half 1:17
Villanova 39
Arkansas 20 1st Half 3:09
Florida 37
Maine 12:00 PM
UMBC
Vanderbilt 12:00 PM
Alabama
Lafayette 12:00 PM
Lehigh
UCF 1:00 PM
SMU
Utah 1:00 PM
Washington
James Madison 1:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
Delaware 1:00 PM
Drexel
Hofstra 1:00 PM
William & Mary
Hartford 1:00 PM
Albany
Binghamton 1:00 PM
Stony Brook
Towson 1:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Wake Forest 1:00 PM
(17) Florida State
Georgia Tech 1:00 PM
Virginia
(22) Georgia 1:00 PM
(5) Tennessee
Drake 1:00 PM
Evansville
Iona 1:00 PM
Canisius
Fairfield 1:00 PM
Monmouth
Northwestern 1:00 PM
Penn State
Wisconsin 1:00 PM
Michigan State
Ohio State 1:00 PM
Purdue
Northern Iowa 1:05 PM
Indiana State
Butler 1:30 PM
Xavier
Creighton 2:00 PM
Marquette
Providence 2:00 PM
DePaul
Northeastern 2:00 PM
Elon
(2) Connecticut 2:00 PM
Cincinnati
Oregon 2:00 PM
Arizona
Bradley 2:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
NC State 2:00 PM
(23) Syracuse
(7) Maryland 2:00 PM
Indiana
Illinois State 2:05 PM
Missouri State
Colorado 3:00 PM
Washington St
Tulane 3:00 PM
South Florida
(14) Kentucky 3:00 PM
Missouri
(9) Oregon State 3:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Vermont 3:30 PM
UMass Lowell
Iowa State 3:30 PM
(8) Texas
Southern Ill 3:45 PM
Wichita State
(15) Duke 4:00 PM
(12) North Carolina
Miami-Florida 4:00 PM
(4) Louisville
(21) Minnesota 4:15 PM
(25) Rutgers
California 5:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC
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 local team is currently the biggest disappointment?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close