The Wolves on Thursday lost to the Warriors without Jimmy Butler, who missed his fourth consecutive game because of a sore knee. He warmed up before the game and before deciding he wasn’t ready to play.
His team won games against Toronto and the L.A. Clippers without him but wilted in the third quarter of Wednesday’s 123-114 loss at Portland when the Blazers outscored the Wolves 43-30.
Asked if his team could sustain only so long without Butler, Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said: “No, just get out there and do your job. The time we did things correctly with the proper amount of intensity and concentration and discipline, it was very effective. The times we didn’t, when we took shortcuts, we fell short. You’ve got to put the work into it. You’ve got to be disciplined.”
Wolves reserve guard Jamal Crawford said he felt fine after playing 20 minutes in Wednesday’s loss at Portland. He had missed two games before that because of a sprained big toe.
He shot Thursday morning and expected to play regular minutes against the Warriors.
“I’m good,” he said. “No setbacks.”
Wiggins steps up
Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins has emerged offensively while Butler remains out. He averaged 31 points on 57.6 percent shooting from the field in those first three games.
Thibodeau made a case for Western Conference coaches to consider Wiggins for the All-Star Game before reserves were announced Tuesday. He praised Wiggins again after Wednesday’s game.
“He’s been doing it all year,” Thibodeau said. “I think his impact on winning is far greater this year than it was last year. It’s not just his scoring. It’s his defense, his rebounding. He’s seeing plays now. He’s making other people better. He’s doing a lot of things for us. He, Jimmy and KAT have sacrificed some shots, but they’re winning, which is the most important stat.”
NBA’s Mr. Blackwell
Kerr apparently has something against one of nature’s greatest wonders, the Northern Lights. They were the inspiration for the glowing neon green uniforms the Wolves occasionally will wear this season and Kerr, among many, has seen better.
When asked what he has seen from the Wolves lately that he didn’t when the two teams last met in November, Kerr told reporters: “I’ve seen some really ugly uniforms. I like it as a second color, like the Seahawks, you know? I’m not a huge fan [of the uniforms], but the team’s good. The team’s better than those uniforms. They’re tough and they’re getting better every night.”