Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

McHale on Wolves: "I'm a big Al fan, so I don't think that was a great trade."

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves players, Wolves news Updated: October 21, 2010 - 8:09 PM

TNT just held a NBA preview teleconference with some of their broadcast crew, including Reggie Miller, Steve Kerr and Kevin McHale, the former Wolves boss who put on his analyst's hat when I asked him about  the team's big changes over the summer. 

Included, of course, in those changes was the trade of Al Jefferson -- the player McHale built all the Wolves' rebuilding efforts around when he traded Kevin Garnett away in 2007 -- to Utah for two first-round draft picks.

Mac's thoughts on the Wolves: 

"I'm a big Al fan, anytime you have a low-post player you can play out of...I think you'll see him play really well in Utah and really anchor down that offense. Al's got to do better defensively and I think Jerry Sloan will do a good job making Al accountable on every possession. He'll work hard for it.

"Me, myself, when the playoffs start, you've got to have that low-post scorer, someone  who can put the ball in the paint and slow the game down. It just controls the pace (of the game) so much better.

"I'm a big Al fan, so I don't think that was a great trade. They had other reasons: They wanted to bring in Darko. They got some money and salary off their cap.

"I like Michael Beasley. He's very, very talented. You watched him at Kansas State, you watched him younger in high school and I just like him. He's a very talented guy but he's got a long way to go.

"Kevin Love seems to be coming into his own right now with the big numbers he's been putting up (in preseason). They've got Wesley Johnson and Martell Webster, so they've got some shooters. Picking up Ridnour will help them. They had an interesting summer.

"The proof is in the tasting. I don't know, it's going to be tough because I don't know how they'll close games.

"Any successful team has a closer. You play a certain style for 45 minutes and the last three minutes, you go the main guy and then there are the second guys you go to.

"There's a pecking order established at ends of games. You need a closer. I don't think they have that. They'll be in more games, but can they win?

"I don't know. How many they'll win, it's hard to say."

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