CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Just as the Timberwolves were getting rolling, they got hit with their first significant injury of the season.
Guard Patrick Beverley will miss at least two weeks because of a left adductor strain, or a groin injury, coach Chris Finch said Friday.
The team will re-evaluate Beverley after about two weeks and "then we'll see where he is," Finch said.
Beverley left Wednesday's win over Miami because of the injury. He has been one of the team's leaders this season, especially on defense, where the Wolves had the fourth-best efficiency rating entering Friday's game. Players and Finch have credited Beverley with setting the standards of effort and communication on defense.
Beverley, who is averaging 8.1 points and 25.4 minutes per game, had started the past 12 games and formed one of the best starting lineups in terms of net rating this season alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards and Jarred Vanderbilt.
Finch said the team has "different directions" it could go to replace Beverley in the starting lineup but added Malik Beasley likely wouldn't be an option for that role at this moment because they like Beasley's role coming off the bench. Jaden McDaniels was back in the starting lineup Friday.
"Fortunately we've got a bunch of other guys who can get out and guard," Finch said. "We're going to miss [Beverley] equally on the offensive end of the floor just with his spacing and his movement, screening and the things that he does that are like kind of glue elements to our offense."
Beverley will still be around the team as he recovers, and his voice will be a part of the Wolves' bench, where he can shout instructions like an assistant coach as he often does when not playing.
"Have you seen him on the bench? He's standing in my way most of the time," Finch joked. "I don't think that's going to be a problem. He'll be very vocal, highly communicative.
Beverley's injury will offer a chance for some other Wolves who have been in and out of the rotation, like point guard Jordan McLaughlin, to get an opportunity for more minutes.
"We need Jordan to step in and play key minutes for us right now," Finch said. "He's not been consistently in our rotation. I think it's kind of bothered his rhythm a little bit. He played well at the end of the Memphis game [Saturday], that was good to see, but we need him to step up and play at a high level right now."
The Wolves arrived a little later in Charlotte on Thursday night than they normally would after spending most of the day celebrating Thanksgiving with their families.
Finch said he had chili from Whole Foods for his Thanksgiving meal because "I'm not a turkey guy."
McDaniels was able to meet with one of his family members when the team got to Charlotte instead of beforehand. McDaniels' brother Jalen plays for the Hornets and had food ready for him upon arrival.
"Mac and Cheese, greens, shoot, like yams," McDaniels said of the menu. "The regular ham and turkey. He had a feast."
The McDaniels brothers had some battles growing up near Seattle, but McDaniels said he was trying to treat Friday's game like nothing out of the ordinary.
"Still a regular game for me. I don't really see it like that until after the game or before," McDaniels said. "Then in between the lines we can't be brothers. … You start to think about all the time you used to play against each other outside in the yard. Now it's kind of like a dream we're both in the NBA."