The Wolves, thinking ahead, gave Greg Stiemsma the locker with the most room around it when they checked into TD Garden this afternoon.
He was just inside the door, with no lockers on either side of him, and he needed the room. Stiemsma, who established himself as an NBA player with the Celtics last year, was swarmed by the Boston media before the game.
We’re talking rock star treatment.
“I think this is a first,” he said, smiling. “No, this is a first.”
After playing all over the world, Stiemsma, a Wisconsin native, finally broke through in the NBA with the Celtics last season. He started the season slowly, then found his stride to become a very strong defensive presence at center coming off the bench. He did deal with foot injuries over the second half of the season, but was still the first player off the bench once the playoffs came.
He signed with the Wolves during the off-season after the Celtics were unable to match the offer.
And so, for the first time, Stiemsma walked into the Garden as a visiting player.
“It’s a little strange,” he said. “A little different coming in different doors and kind of seeing the other locker room, all that stuff.”
He was asked what he would do if he blocked one of Kevin Garnett’s shots: “I’m not going to make a big deal out of it,” he said. “Until after the game, maybe.”
What would KG say if it happened? “Hopefully we’ll get to see.”
Meanwhile, Wolves coach Rick Adelman said he’d go with the same starting lineup of Kevin Love and Josh Howard at forward, Nikola Pekovic at center and Luke Ridnour and Malcolm Lee in the backcourt.
The Wolves will have a test tonight. The Celtics have Rajon Rondo back from suspension and the Celtics have had a few days to rest. Rondo was taking Tuesday about how the Celtics needed to go on a winning streak, starting with this game. The Wolves will need the kind of shooting effort they got Tuesday in Philadelphia for that not to happen.
I’ll get back to you after the game.