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.
Nikola Pekovic was scratched from tonight's game at Utah because of a calf contusion and was replaced in the starting lineup by backup Greg Stiemsma.
Dante Cunningham warmed up before tonight's game and said he's ready to play after missing Wednesday's game against the Clippers in Los Angeles.
That will keep Rick Adelman from playing Derrick Williams 36 straight minutes as he did in L.A. until sitting Williams and three other starters for the entire fourth quarter because the game was a blowout.
The Jazz have three games left -- two of them against the Wolves, including Monday at Target Center -- and are chasing the Lakers for the West's eighth and final playoff from a game behind.
The Lakers play their final three games all at home.
Kevin Love did have that arthroscopic surgery to remove scar tissue buildup on his left knee today while he was at New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery to have a plate removed from his healing right shooting hand.
The team, of course, termed the surgery "successful."
While he's in New York City, the Wolves continue their three-game Western trip without Dante Cunningham against the Clippers in Los Angeles.
Cunningham is a late scratch tonight because of a sore right hamstring.
They'll do so against a Clippers team that on Sunday swept the Lakers in a season series for the first time since Donald Sterline bought the team in 1981 and clinched their first Pacific Division title.
Ricky Rubio, btw, will try tonight to shake off two bad shooting games since he missed a potential game-tying free throw in the final two seconds of Friday's loss to Toronto.
Rubio is 1-for-24 from the field in those two games: 1-for-10 in Tuesday's loss at Golden State and 1-for-13 in Saturday's victory over Detroit that got Rick Adelman career win 1000.
Kevin Love will not play again this season.
But it's not because of that healing broken shooting hand necessarily.
Love will have that hand re-examined in New York City at the Hospital for Special Surgery on Tuesday and while he's there, he'll consult with another surgeon who will perform arthroscopic surgery to repair scar tissue on his left knee later this week, sources said Monday evening.
A source called the operation "minor."
The knee apparently has bothered him some much of the season. The plan was to have it done at the end of the season if his hand was cleared for contact action, but it bothered him more as he ramped up workouts for his return and the decision was made to have the surgery now.
That, of course, ends any chance for him to play again.
The recovery time on the knee surgery is four to six weeks.
Love has played just 18 games this season after breaking his hand twice, once in October when he said he did it while doing knuckle pushups during a workout at his Minneapolis condo and then again in a game at Denver on Feb. 3.
He has not played since then.
The Wolves have six games left in a season that ends April 17.
It figures, doesn't it?
Tonight's Wolves-Raptors game from Target Center is not being televised locally -- one of four Wolves game this year not so carried -- and of course it's the night Rick Adelman goes for career victory No. 1000.
Just off the top of my head...Wolves fans also never saw Kevin Love's 30-30 game back in 2010 and Ricky Rubio's first career start last year as well.
Adelman's wife Mary Kay, btw, will attend tonight's game, as she has done most home games recently.
And as long as I mentioned Love...
He was not cleared today for full contact -- remember last week they said he'd be re-evaluated this week? -- and now he'll be evaluated again early next week, the team says.
The leaves only about a week in the season and only a handful of games.
Sure sounds like he's not going to play again, right?
Adelman says he still would like to see Love play, even if for a few games.
"My stance is still the same," he said. "If he's cleared to play, we'll address it at that time. But it has been going on sl long now that we'll just stay with the guys we have and see what happens."
Kevin Love did not get his healing shooting hand scanned yesterday or today and will be re-evaluated sometime next week.
He is not expected to return to his New York City surgeon, so expect him to get his hand imaged sometime then and the results sent to his doctor to see if he will cleared for contact action.
That doesn't necessarily mean he won't play again this season, but the clock is ticking.
If he gets evaluated at the end of next week, that leaves about 12 days -- and eight games at the very most -- left in the season.
Love was told he'd be re-evaluated in two to three weeks when he visited his NYC surgeon earlier this month.
Next week will be three weeks.
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