Greetings. Youngblood here, with Jerry Zgoda getting a much-deserved day off.
Here is what I gleaned from my pre-game circuit around the halls of Target Center:
1. Martell Webster tested out his sore right quad muscle and said that, though it still hurts, he will play. "I get paid a lot of money to do this," he said in the locker room. "So I have to play. It's a battle of wills."
2. Nikola Pekovic, who has missed four games with a sprained ankle, is available to play tonight.
3. Anthony Tolliver, who sprained the MCL in his right knee Dec. 3 at San Antonio, ran full-speed for the first time during a workout today. He has been back on the court doing his workout the past couple days. He hopes to take part in some non-contact portions of practice this week with the goal of taking part in contact drills by the end of the week. He said the knee is still tender at times when he steps wrong, but that it feels very good. He ran today without pain. When he does return, he will wear a good-sized brace on the knee.
4. Kevin Love said he'd be honored if he made the Western Conference All-Star team, but is more concerned with winning games. "That's up to the fans and coaches,'' he said of being an all star. I'm not really keying in on that at this point."
5. Love said he'd seen comments from LeBron James backing away from his suggestion last week that the NBA would benefit from shrinking the league, mentioning the Timberwolves and Nets as examples, saying a less watered-down league would be more exciting, harking back to the '80s heyday of the NBA. He also used Love as an example of a star getting to play for a better team.
Love? He said he took it as a compliment that James would mention him like that. But: "At the same time, I love playing here, love playing with the teammates I have, the coaching staff,'' he said. "I like Minnesota, Minneapolis and St. Paul. He just said what he said. I didn't pay much attention when my name was mentioned."
That's about it. I'll get back to you after the game.