The phone call for Kelan Martin to rejoin the Timberwolves on Saturday came at 10 a.m.
They had him booked on a flight from Des Moines that was set to leave 80 minutes from then.
“I had to get up and get moving because I was tired from the night before,” Martin said.
Martin made his flight. Thanks in part to a small delay, he didn’t have to sprint to the gate.
In making Saturday’s game, Martin played in three consecutive games (two with with Wolves, one at G League Iowa) in three consecutive nights, something that fellow rookie Jaylen Nowell also did recently.
“I feel like it’s AAU again. Just got to get your rest and hydrate as much as possible,” Martin said. “Been on a lot of flights, so I just have to be prepared for this. It’s what I signed up for.”
Added guard Josh Okogie: “It’s just a grind and a testament to how hard they work. Obviously they all love the game and the amount of energy that they’re able to come in here and just out put is incredible.”
Martin was asked to contribute in a big way Saturday — after he took a nap of course. After scoring 23 points for Iowa on Friday night, Martin pitched in 17 points for the Wolves as they lost to Cleveland.
“They believe in me,” said Martin. “They told me to shoot it, whenever I’m open. Just be aggressive. I think I did that, you know? Made a few big shots for our team and other guys stepped up, too. Just got to be willing to do that every game.”
With the Wolves shorthanded again Monday, Martin was called to duty. He started and scored nine points on 4-for-8 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds in nearly 35 minutes.
He has been dealing with the constant travel as best he can.
“It’s hard to get rested,” Martin said. “A lot of time changes, time zones, but like I said, staying hydrated and just trying to force myself to sleep. Sleep as much as possible.”
More ailing Wolves
The Wolves had another addition to their sick list on Monday — Treveon Graham. Graham became the third Wolves player in the past week to miss a game because of flu-like symptoms, joining Shabazz Napier, who missed the game against Golden State, and Andrew Wiggins, who missed his second consecutive game Monday.
Napier said a bug has been going around the team and it has taken its toll on the Wolves. Coach Ryan Saunders said he has been in consultation with the medical staff on how best to handle the situation, which can include telling players to stay away from the facilities.
“Hopefully we don’t have any other players, coaches, front office, support staff, anybody else that gets sick,” Saunders said.
Center Noah Vonleh was a late addition to the injury report, out because of a left gluteal contusion, while Karl-Anthony Towns missed his seventh consecutive game because of a left knee sprain.
Picking and rolling
Okogie provided some insight at shootaround as to how he handles defense based on which center is in the game for the Wolves. With Gorgui Dieng and Towns, Okogie said on pick-and-rolls the Wolves might try to funnel the ball handler to the rim because they can be effective rim protectors, while for players such as Vonleh and Jordan Bell, the scheme might be different.
“A guy like Noah, who is kind of big but kind of small, it’s kind of weird. He can kind of play up and also play back and be an in-between guy,” Okogie said. “It’s just different. If [Towns] or [Dieng] is in the game, let me be extra aggressive and force [my man] to the rim to the shot-blocker. Or if J-Bell is in the pick-and-roll, I can kind of try to get over the screen and take my time because J-Bell is going to be there. Then Noah, you just pick and choose your spots.”