Get ready, Flip Saunders said, because this is going to be big.
The Wolves part-owner, president of basketball operations and head coach was talking about what he expects from the fans Wednesday when Kevin Garnett — who will start, of course — is introduced before Wednesday’s game against Washington at Target Center.
“As I told some of our staff, in all your history in the league … you’ll probably never have a better, more energized reception than you’ll have [Wednesday].”
Garnett will make his first Target Center appearance in a Wolves uniform since April 9, 2007, when he had 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a 111-100 loss to Toronto. It has been a long time, and Saunders expects Wolves fans will make up for lost time Wednesday.
“The one thing about Minnesota people is they’re very loyal,” Saunders said. “I got in trouble when someone asked me the question about the two Kevins. I said the reception one Kevin gets is a lot different from the other.”
He was referring to Garnett and Kevin Love. When Love was preparing to make his first at Target Center since forcing a trade out of Minnesota, Saunders said he didn’t think Love’s reception would be too friendly.
Not so this time.
“That’s the way Minnesota people are,” Saunders said. “They have memories. They remember everything.”
The body knows
Garnett is expected to play another season or two after this one, but he was noncommittal when asked at Tuesday’s news conference about the future beyond this season’s remaining 27 games.
“Every year I listen to my body,” Garnett said. “I’ve been taking care of myself since I left here, or since I started. I don’t want to answer anything that’s going to get me tied up in anything that I can’t commit to. But I will say that I’m going to listen to my body, I’m going to talk to my family, see what my options are and then go from there.”
Black and blue
A day after Donatas Motiejunas inadvertently elbowed him in Monday’s first quarter at Houston, Wolves center Nikola Pekovic’s left eye, swollen and greenish after the game, had settled down to a nice black.
Pekovic said he’s concerned about getting hit there again, but doesn’t plan on wearing any protective goggles.
“He was looking even tougher now with the eye, with the purple eye,” teammate Ricky Rubio said.
• Anthony Bennett on Tuesday wore an immobilizing boot on his right lower leg, the result of an injury sustained Friday. He initially thought it was a calf injury, but the team has called it an ankle injury. The truth might lie somewhere in between. “It was higher up above [the ankle],” he said. “It wasn’t the knee. It was more of a tweak.” Bennett is still hoping he can ease back into action after two weeks.
• The day after making the first start of his NBA career, forward Adreian Payne said he agreed with the observation made by Saunders last night. “I need to let the game slow down,” said Payne, who had a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) in Houston on Monday. “I need to let the game come to me.”