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.
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."
Let the Adelman talk commence.
Wednesday’s victory in Milwaukee gave the Wolves their first winning streak since Dec. 15 and gave coach Rick Adelman his 999th career NBA victory.
Friday’s game with Toronto will be the first crack at 1,000, something many of the players in the locker room were talking about.
“Everybody is thinking about it,” center Nikola Pekovic said. “And I know we’ll all be honored to be a part of that.”
J.J. Barea said the prospects looked good for getting Adelman his 1,000th this season, something that couldn’t be said a few weeks ago.
But the Wolves are starting to play very well. They won their third straight road game for the first time this season and have won five of their last eight overall.
Here are some impressions of tonight’s game:
--What makes Pekovic’s 27 points tonight so impressive is that he did it against Larry Sanders. Not that Sanders is an All Star. But he is the kind of long player that sometimes gives Pekovic problems. Pek was very, very good again tonight. He had eight points in the first quarter, seven in the second, eight in the third and four in the fourth. That is consistency.
--Ricky Rubio had never hit more than two three-pointers in a game before. Then, tonight, he hits his first five. Rubio is 9-for-14 from three-point range his last six games.
--This team is really playing unselfish basketball. The Wolves got a season-high 33 assists tonight, and every one of the 10 Wolves who played got at least one. Eight had multiple assists.
--The Wolves’ 61.5 shooting percentage on three-pointers (8-for-13) was a season high.
That’s about all for now. Have a good night.
This sounds like the Timberwolves, doesn't it?
The Celtics make their only visit to the Target Center tonight and this time they'll be without all of their new Big Three.
That means no Kevin Garnett, no Rajon Rondo and no Paul Pierce.
Rondo out for the season with that torn ACL.
Garnett is heading into the second week of what likely will be two weeks out because of an ankle/foot injury.
And Pierce is scratched tonight because of personal reasons.
Nikola Pekovic is starting at the Wolves at center, btw, after missing Saturday's loss to Memphis because of a sprained ankle.
Somebody asked Boston coach Doc Rivers before tonight's game if he remembers what life is like without those three.
"Yeah, vividly, about five years ago," he said. "It has been a while. I think it has happened before. I'm not even sure. I know we played a couple games with Ray (Allen), Paul and Kevin. We played a couple of those, but that was resting guys."
Rivers acknowledged this could possibly be the last time Garnett is scheduled to play back in Minnesota.
"I think yeah, every year we don't know if it's his last time," Rivers said. "Obviously, I hope not and we all hope not. But you never know with Kevin. Every summer he's deciding if he's coming back or not. I would hope this isn't because you would want him to play in his last game here. So let's hope it isn't."
The Wolves scored 30 points in the first quarter of their game with the Grizzlies at Target Center Saturday. They scored just 36 in the entire second half.
The result was the 11th straight loss to Memphis on a night when just about nobody besides Greg Stiemsma (yes, the Steamer) and Ricky Rubio and Alexey Shved could hit a shot.
I think playing for a seventh time in 10 nights finally took its toll for the Wolves, who have a day off before hosting Boston Monday.
Here are some thoughts on the game:
--Forward Chase Budinger said his entire body felt sore playing on the back end of a back to back. Budinger, who played in his seventh game since returning from knee surgery, was clearly leg weary tonight. He made just one of six shots.
--Forward Dante Cunningham said his hand -- which he banged up Friday against Oklahoma City -- isn't bothering him. but he was just 2-for-8 for four points, missing a slew of open jumpers against his old team.
--Stiemsma played very well stepping in for the injured Nikola Pekovic. He played a game-high 40 minutes, scored 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting, had seven rebounds and two blocks.
--Ricky Rubio came one assist short of his second career triple-double. And he continued his recent trend of shooting better, going 6-for-12 on the way to a team-high 23 points.
--After guarding Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant in consecutive games, Andrei Kirilenko didn't have much left in the legs department either. He scored five points in 28-plus minutes.
That's about all for now. Jerry will cover Monday's game against the Celtics.
Wolves center Nikola Pekovic will miss tonight's game against Memphis with a sprained left ankle. It is unclear how long he will be out with the injury, which occurred during Friday's victory over Oklahoma City.
Greg Stiemsma is expected to draw the starting assignment against Memphis center Marc Gasol.
Pekovic had a 22-point, 15-rebound against the Thunder in his eighth game back after missing eight games with an abdominal strain. Pekovic also missed five games in late January with a thigh contusion. He also missed two games in November with an issue in the same left ankle.
In all, tonight will mark the 16th game Pekovic will miss due to injury this season.
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