Home stretch is time for Wolves player evaluations

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 25, 2014 - 7:26 AM

– Mathematically, the Timberwolves remain in pursuit of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. Practically, Sunday’s home loss to Phoenix in which they squandered a 22-point lead extinguished what little hope remained.

Thirteen games remain for the Wolves. Before Monday’s game, Wolves coach Rick Adelman was asked when the season’s remaining games become a time for evaluation and development rather than a single-minded push for victory each night.

“We’re getting that happening anyway,” Adelman said dryly.

He was referring to injuries that on Monday night left the Wolves without starting center Nikola Pekovic, backup center Ronny Turiaf as well as backup point guard J.J. Barea, who didn’t play because of a sprained foot that has bothered him for at least the past week.

“I fully expect Ronny and Pek to come back the same game,” Adelman said. “That’s just the way it has gone. Then what do I do?”

Adelman said he still has no idea when either center will play again, but their return will present a dilemma for a team that might be best served now by seeing what they have in rookies Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Muhammad and others.

“G may find himself a power forward, I don’t know,” Adelman said, referring to Dieng. “That is the thing we have to look at. Do we want to keep playing G if those two guys come back. Bazz, we try to keep getting him in games. It’s all part of it. I think whoever we play has to play as hard as they can. We’re going to find out about guys anyway. You can’t talk about giving up on the season. We want to find guys who will play hard right up until the end.”

J.J. can’t go

Alexey Shved became the Wolves’ backup point guard Monday because Barea and third point guard A.J. Price were out. Price still is recovering from a recent appendectomy.

Barea played 17 minutes Sunday against the Suns and 15 minutes Friday at Houston with that sprained foot.

“It’s bothered me and it’s getting worse,” Barea said Monday. “Houston was really bad and yesterday I wasn’t myself. Hopefully a couple days off will make it right.”

Leaning on a friend

Wolves veteran forward Luc Mbah a Moute texted Sunday and spoke briefly Monday with Kansas star Joel Embiid. The Jayhawks were eliminated from the NCAA tournament Sunday before Embiid, a potential No. 1 overall NBA draft pick dealing with a back injury, was healthy enough to play again.

Mbah a Moute and Embiid will talk soon at length and discuss whether a prospect who came up through Mbah a Moute’s Cameroonian camp in 2011 should stay in school or go to the NBA.

“Of course, I’ve looked after him since he was younger,” Mbah a Moute said when asked about plans to counsel Embiid. “It’s unfortunate he got hurt at the wrong time, but it’s a blessing to be in this position. Not every kid got a chance to decide if they have to leave or go back to school. He has to understand it’s a blessing, that’s the No. 1 thing. A lot of people wish they were in this position. It’s a blessing to even be in this position in the first place.”


• Monday’s game was the first between the teams after they reportedly discussed a trade-deadline deal last month that would have sent Barea and Chase Budinger to Memphis for veterans Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen. Allen didn’t play Monday because he was ill. “I don’t know if it got close or not,” Barea said. “I wasn’t thinking about it.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Detroit 51 3rd Qtr 1:57
Philadelphia 66
Portland 62 3rd Qtr 3:33
Cleveland 69
Sacramento 54 3rd Qtr
Toronto 54
Boston 27 2nd Qtr 9:20
Minnesota 34
Dallas 25 2nd Qtr 10:43
Houston 26
Denver 32 2nd Qtr 10:07
New Orleans 19
Brooklyn 27 2nd Qtr
Atlanta 30
Oklahoma City 21 2nd Qtr 10:25
New York 22
Charlotte 7:30 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Washington 9:30 PM
Toronto 0 2nd Prd 17:22
New Jersey 0
Pittsburgh 0 1st Prd 4:27
Washington 1
Chicago 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Temple 70 2nd Half 6:30
UCF 38
Winthrop 54 2nd Half 7:14
Coastal Carolina 57
Lafayette 42 2nd Half 10:00
Colgate 45
Northeastern 45 2nd Half 4:44
Drexel 49
Wake Forest 53 2nd Half 8:36
Florida State 50
Rhode Island 47 2nd Half 9:20
Fordham 50
Delaware 73 2nd Half 2:53
James Madison 75
South Carolina 51 2nd Half 6:27
LSU 48
New Hampshire 50 2nd Half 4:55
Maine 39
Seton Hall 67 2nd Half 5:52
Marquette 52
Binghamton 33 2nd Half 13:00
American Univ 46 2nd Half 4:23
Navy 62
Elon 45 2nd Half 8:43
UNC-Wilmington 73
Wright State 49 2nd Half 5:37
Oakland 46
Minnesota 48 2nd Half 5:08
Penn State 53
Duquesne 41 2nd Half 7:30
Richmond 72
SMU 56 2nd Half 5:30
South Florida 47
Hartford 48 2nd Half 9:25
Stony Brook 42
Albany 31 2nd Half 8:00
Vermont 24
Hofstra 60 2nd Half 7:16
William & Mary 75
UNC-Asheville 46 2nd Half 12:00
Longwood 41
Radford 45 2nd Half
Char Southern 35
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 46 2nd Half 16:49
Notre Dame 47
Texas Tech 17 2nd Half 15:38
Oklahoma 53
Oregon State 18 1st Half 3:48
Arizona State 35
Morehead State 29 1st Half 3:47
Austin Peay 27
Drake 36 1st Half 3:59
Bradley 24
Lehigh 17 1st Half 6:11
Bucknell 13
Rice 15 1st Half 3:50
Houston 20
Missouri State 17 1st Half 5:32
Illinois State 16
Loyola-Chicago 12 1st Half 7:50
Wichita State 14
Nebraska Omaha 23 1st Half 6:20
South Dakota St 31
Northern Iowa 21 1st Half 3:17
Southern Ill 22
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Kansas 8:00 PM
Oregon 9:00 PM
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
UMBC 58 2nd Half 7:05
Binghamton 44
Akron 53 2nd Half 5:19
Ohio U 60
Ball State 67 2nd Half 4:41
Miami-Ohio 49
Memphis 49 2nd Half 4:50
Cincinnati 39
East Carolina 23 2nd Half 9:51
(2) Connecticut 65
Murray State 57 2nd Half 0:48
Eastern Illinois 73
Kent State 58 2nd Half 1:47
Central Michigan 63
UT Martin 62 2nd Half 4:21
Tennessee St 50
Eastern Michigan 50 2nd Half 5:32
Western Mich 74
Bucknell 59 2nd Half 0:22
Lehigh 76
Indiana 49 2nd Half 3:44
Michigan State 72
Colgate 54 2nd Half 2:59
Lafayette 51
Duquesne 64 2nd Half 5:30
St Bonaventure 54
George Mason 49 2nd Half 5:57
VA Commonwealth 58
Detroit 55 2nd Half 0:49
Youngstown St 53
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 24 1st Half 5:12
Tulsa 28
Oklahoma St 15 1st Half 3:58
Kansas State 18
West Virginia 19 1st Half 4:38
Texas Tech 24
Denver 37 1st Half 3:15
South Dakota 35
Northwestern St 21 1st Half 0:34
Central Arkansas 26
Austin Peay 28 1st Half 1:18
SIU-Edwardsville 44
Kansas 18 1st Half 4:08
Iowa State 17
Bowling Green 12 1st Half 4:27
Northern Ill 27
Penn State 27 1st Half 3:46
Minnesota 27
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
San Diego State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which local team is currently the biggest disappointment?

Weekly Question