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Timberwolves finally get some extended time at home

 Finally, a homestand.

Really, since training camp began, the Timberwolves have been nomads. They trained in California. They went to China. Since the regular season began the only thing resembling a homestand for the Wolves were back-to-back home games against Dallas and Charlotte Nov. 4 and 5.

Other than that, back and forth, home and road.

But, at least for a while, that will change. Tonight's game against Orlando is the first of four straight at Target Center over  the coming week. The Wolves will get seven days at home, no travel. That’s enough time to get some quality practice in, to settle back into a rhythm.

“We’re looking forward to it,’’ Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said after Wednesday’s morning shootaround. “Our schedule was a challenge ear on. This is an opportunity for us to come home, take it day-by-day, be ready to go.’’

The schedule – there is a day off between all four games – will give the team time to both rest and to improve with practice time.

“When you look back at the schedule, we went to China,’’ Thibodeau said. “We’ve played 10 road games. We’ve had a lot of one game in, one game out, a lot of travel involved. This is a good chance for us to gather ourselves, get some good-quality work in, and concentrate om some things we have to improve on.’’

--With the Iowa Wolves of the G league in the middle of a week off between games, the Wolves recalled shooting guard Anthony Brown from the G League Iowa Wolves.

Having him here is a benefit both to Brown and to the Wolves, with a handful of full practices coming up. “As we’re navigating through having a [G League] team for the first time, that’s how we want to use it,’’ Thibodeau said. “We want to use it both ways. They have a break, that gives us a chance to bring him back and get a look at him. But also, it helps us with practice, preparation.’’

--Thibodeau said he is still considering whether rookie Justin Patton will get a G League stint once he’s ready to return to the court. 

Dieng ready to return; Butler not worried about six-point game

Is tonight the night Wolves center Gorgui Dieng starts another games-played streak?

His last one of 175 consecutive games played -- dating to the start of the 2015-16 season -- ended Saturday in Phoenix, the first of three games he now has missed because of a sprained index finger on his shooting hand.

He practiced Thursday and participated in shootaround this morning in Dallas before tonight's game against the 2-13 Mavericks.

"We'll see how he does," Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said, referring to Dieng's game-day preparations. "He's definitely a lot better. I know Gorgui. If he can play, he's playing."

When he returns, he'll be rejoining a second unit that is starting to find its rhythm, particularly because of the play from Nemanja Bjelica and Tyus Jones.

While that second unit has found something, Wolves starter and star Jimmy Butler scored six points in Wednesday's 98-86 victory over San Antonio and is shooting 33.3 percent -- 18 for 54 -- in his last four games.

Both Thibodeau and Butler said there's no reason for alarm and said it's only a matter of time before his shot returns.

"Jimmy can play great without shooting well," Thibodeau said.

Tonight is the start of three games in four days. Included is the logical Minneapolis to Charlotte back-to-back with Sunday's game against Detroit at Target Center and Monday's game against the Hornets.

Final, 11/22 1 2 3 4 F
Orlando 8-10 35 27 18 38 118
Minnesota 11-7 30 35 41 18 124

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