Greetings from Target Center, where the Wolves and Jazz will tip off in about a half hour.
Here are some items gleaned from our pre-game access, in no particular order:
--Tonight will be the first time local fans can watch rookie point guard Trey Burke and wonder, what if? Burke was taken by the Wolves with the ninth pick in the 2013 draft, then shipped to Utah for the 14th and 21st picks, which became Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng.
The Wolves were flush with point guards at the time; they sent Luke Ridnour to Milwaukee in a trade shortly after the draft. And know this: Had the Wolves taken and kept Burke, he wouldn’t have gotten the minutes and opportunity that he’s gotten as a rookie with the Jazz. Still, it’s interesting to think about. Burke is second among rookies in scoring (13.9), and is coming off Western Conference rookie of the month honors for December.
--Wolves coach Rick Adelman said again pre-game Saturday that shooting guard Kevin Martin has to be more aggressive with his shot. He also said Martin isn’t getting the calls he used to get, and hence isn’t getting to the free throw line as often as he used to.
--Adelman also said the Wolves may need to look to center Nikola Pekovic more in late-game crunchtime situations, noting that Pekovic has shown the ability to pass out of double-teams.
--Today is Dieng’s 24th birthday.
--Jazz G/F Gordon Hayward (hip) is inactive tonight.
That’s about it for now. Have a good rest of your weekend.