Timberwolves veteran Brandon Rush left the team's locker room after most of his teammates did following Monday's morning shootaround.

He was delayed by ice treatments on his knees and toes not because of the 24 minutes he rather unexpectedly played Saturday against Memphis, but because of the extended minutes he played Monday against Miami now that shooting guard Zach LaVine is out for the season.

"Just making sure my body's fresh," Rush said.

It's next man up now, and Rush is that next man. He replaces LaVine as starter in a reconfigured rotation where coach Tom Thib­odeau likely will play two point guards together and need Shabazz Muhammad to pick up LaVine's missing scoring with the team's second unit.

Thibodeau also could use an open roster spot to add guard help after LaVine tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Friday at Detroit.

In an instant, Rush went from unneeded to relied upon. He calls the adjustment more challenging for his mind than body.

"I worked every single day I didn't play: Extra work, cardio, got my shots up," he said. "It's more mental just to get my mind ready for games. But you get used to it. Unless we make some changes or whatnot, I'm looking forward to playing this out."

LaVine attended Monday's morning shoot on crutches and already has started what Thibo­deau calls his "prehab" to prepare for surgery.

"Just to see him around today — moving, talking, just like he's part of the team again — has meant a lot," center Karl-Anthony Towns said.

Dunn not quite ready

Rookie point guard Kris Dunn didn't play for a third consecutive game because of a hurting right hand injured during a fall against Orlando on Jan. 30. Tyus Jones played behind Ricky Rubio again, and they played together at times, too. "Progressing, still trying to get there," Dunn said.

Never say never

The Patriots' comeback victory in the Super Bowl on Sunday proved again it's never over until it's over — just like the Heat proved in the 2013 NBA Finals, when the court was cordoned off for a San Antonio title celebration late in Game 6 and Miami won in seven games.

"It certainly reminded us, who have been around, of the yellow ropes," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team watched the Super Bowl together in Minneapolis. "More than anything, we were just watching it as a great sporting event. We're sports fans and we all got our money's worth on that one. That was spectacular."

Missed opportunity

Miami's shot-blocking star, center Hassan Whiteside, worked out as a free agent for the Wolves in September 2012. David Kahn was the team's basketball boss then.

"I would have loved to play for any team to give me a chance at the time," said Whiteside, who didn't play in the NBA the next two seasons and signed with the Heat early in 2015. "But they didn't sign me. That's a question for their GM."


• Miami waived forward Derrick Williams — the Wolves' No. 2 overall pick in 2011 — on Monday and signed promoted D-Leaguer Okaro White. In 25 games (11 starts) this season, the 25-year-old Williams averaged 5.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

• Drafted 28th overall by the Wolves in 2009, Heat guard Wayne Ellington, now in his eighth NBA season, returned to Target Center. "Those were my first three seasons in the NBA, so I'll always have Minnesota close to my heart," he said.