The Wolves face the Hawks in Atlanta tonight in the team's second preseason game with no local radio or tv coverage.
While he continues to experiment, Wittman presented a starting lineup on Monday -- the opening night of that trip that will also take them to Atlanta and Indiana -- that could very much resemble opening night on Nov. 2 against Denver: Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff and Corey Brewer in the frontcourt, Ricky Davis in the backcourt. Marko Jaric started for Foye, who along with Telfair was not in uniform.
Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press on last night's game at Memphis:
Forward Al Jefferson was more involved in the offense, something that had been an issue during the first two exhibition games when the Wolves didn't work the ball inside as much as Wittman wanted...
Also from Alonzo:
Wolves forward Ryan Gomes suffered a left ankle injury with about 6 minutes left in the second quarter against Memphis. Gomes winced after he landed awkwardly under the basket and left the game moments later. On his way to the bench, he told Wittman he was OK, describing the injury as "a little tweak."
Gomes played just four minutes and did not return.
Wittman said Gomes' ankle "swelled up pretty good." Gomes is doubtful for tonight's game at Atlanta.
Brewer is an alert and active player who seemed to defend well, including a spectacular block to break up a Grizzlies two-on-one fastbreak. But he seems to lack the athleticism, ball-handling, and shooting ability to be a star. He can be a good pro, but I suspect that, a few years down the road, there will be several players drafted after him who will be better.
Canis Hoopus on Wolves players with their own websites.
Alex Strien/RealGM on the Wolves/Celtics game in London.
It felt like more of a carnival at times than a game of basketball. The biggest cheer of the night came when the ‘Crazy Dunkers’ came out. The second biggest cheer was for the Timberwolves mascot Crunch...no comments
Tonight will be a challenge for our team in that two of our point guards (Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair) are out with minor injuries. That leaves Marko Jaric as the only point guard. This also gives us an opportunity to see who else on our team can step up and fill the "point guard" role in an emergency.
From the AP recap:
Juan Carlos Navarro and Rudy Gay both scored 22 points and the Memphis Grizzlies used a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 101-93 on Monday night.
Mike Miller added 14 points for the Grizzlies, while Darko Milicic finished with 10.
Al Jefferson and Marko Jaric both scored 17 points to lead Minnesota with Jefferson also grabbing 15 rebounds. Rashad McCants added 15 points and Ricky Davis had 14, all in the first half, for the Timberwolves.
Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune on Jaric starting at point guard because Foye and Telfair were out:
Without them, Jaric assumed a starting position at what he calls his natural position and delivered a 35-minute, 17-point, three-assist, five-turnover performance on a night when the Timberwolves cruised early and collapsed late in their first game back in the U.S. after a European tour.no comments
Lang Whitaker/SLAM Online talks to Garnett, who graces the cover of the newest issue in green, about the trade from Minnesota
Glen Taylor just basically told me that he was going in another direction. Out of all this, man, that was the hardest part. Just like I was telling my friends and my people, the hardest thing in anything is when you put your heart and soul into something and you walk a straight line and you try to do things the right way, and you stay professional and you stay positive, even through thick times. And then someone tells you, “You know what? I’m not feeling this no more.” He let me know that he lost a lot of money last year, and he let me know that he wanted a change. And I had to honor that.
It wasn’t like I went to him and said, “Move me!” I wanted to better the team. Talk to me with some vets, because vets make the game easier if you know how to play; they teach young guys. So when I went to him to voice my opinion, I was pretty much gone at that point. Plus, I think Glen’s loyalty is to Kevin McHale, and I had to swallow that. So that’s what it was. I was kind of hurt by it, but he’s known Kevin long enough, he’s believed in Kevin, so that’s what it is. That’s how I chalked it up...
Click here for the game thread for tonight's preseason game at Memphis.
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site talks to assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff about tonight's matchup.
The coming week is an important week for this team to continue to develop chemistry, as well as continuing to learn how to execute. Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair's inability to contribute--or their limited contributions--does not bode well for the beginning portions of the year.
Training Camp Central has the team's game schedule for this week as well as interviews with some of the players.no comments
Tonight's game at Memphis marks another chance for the players to prove themselves, followed by Tuesday's matchup at Atlanta. Then it's back on the road, Friday at Indiana and Saturday at Milwaukee.
"This will be a week that after these four games, things will start to solidify themselves a little bit," Wittman said.
First-round draft pick Corey Brewer has been working on his shot with the help of assistant general manager Fred Hoiberg...
Foye (left knee tendinitis) and Sebastian Telfair (left ankle sprain) missed practice again Sunday. Telfair did not accompany the team to Memphis. Foye went but likely won't play either tonight or tomorrow in Atlanta.
"It's patellar tendinitis," Foye said. "Two-a-days kind of caught up to me."
The Wolves' abundance of small forwards and big guards, their obvious commitment to youth and Davis' value as a proven scorer and his expiring $6.8 million contract all make him likely to be traded by February's deadline. At age 28, Davis, who left Iowa for the NBA after his freshman season, is playing for his fifth NBA team.
"I don't know," Davis said when asked if he expects to be with the Wolves at season's end. "I'll wait and see what happens. Kevin Garnett got traded. It happens. Every day, every year someone gets traded. It's the nature of the business. I'll just leave what I've got on the court every night."
Grizzlies blog Shades Of Blue takes a look at the potential matchups in tonight's preseason game at Memphis.
Canis Hoopus on the new guys on the training camp roster.
The current occupant on Corey Brewer's old room at the University of Florida:
Actually, Mitchell said Brewer was such a pig that it took major work to get his room back together.
“Oh yeah. I have Corey’s old room and Corey was ... it’s a mess,” Mitchell said. “They had to renovate the whole place. New carpets, new everything.”
Jalen Rose is honoring Juwan Howard and his former college teammates with a Fab Five billboard.
The Wolves are launching team gift cards.no comments
Neither Randy Foye nor Sebastian Telfair was able to practice Saturday. Foye has tendinitis in his left knee, a lingering but not serious problem that will require some rest; he was limited to short duty in the Wolves' loss to the Celtics in London. Telfair sprained his left ankle while warming up for practice Saturday and was on crutches by the time it ended.
Wittman said he probably will wait until after Tuesday's game to make any decisions about reducing the number of players on the roster. There are 17, and the Wolves cannot carry more than 15 by the start of the regular season.
Training-camp invitee John Edwards is the most likely player to be cut. Then Wittman and the front office face a difficult decision in reducing the roster further. The Wolves might try to buy out the contract of a player or make a trade.
Timberwolves Today has posted the second installment of their podcast, the Kissing Marney Gellner Show.
From the Star Tribune:
The Timberwolves' three-day home stopover after their two-city, 12-day European tour ends today, when they leave for Memphis and a four-game exhibition journey beginning Monday night that also will take them to Atlanta, Indianapolis and Milwaukee by Saturday night.no comments
In an amusing recap of the preseason game against the Celtics, ShamSports points out that Rashad McCants "chews his gum with way too much gusto" and that Al Jefferson needs to "shave off the beard." On the Wolves bench at the end of the first quarter, they write:
Juwan Howard comes off the bench to greet the players coming off the court, and puts his arm around Gerald Green, doing the Mr-Miyagi-Daniel-san thing for which he is there. He slaps Gerald on the arse. Then he rubs his arse in a circular motion. Then he slaps it twice more. This didn't need to happen. The athletic bumslap NEVER needs to happen. But if you are ever compelled to do it, just do it once. Anything more and it turns awkward. Juwan has proven this.
Stephen Litel/Hoopsworld with observations on the team post- overseas training camp.
Battle Of The Bloggers No. 5 - Who will lead the team in points, assists, and rebounds.
Jason M. Williams/RealGM with a preview of the Wolves and the teams in the Northwest Division.
Al Jefferson and Rashad McCants were at "Tubby's Tipoff" at the University of Minnesota on Friday night.no comments
As for Minnesota, it's clear there is talent on its young roster. It is equally clear that the youth will be served, which might not sit well with veterans such as Ricky Davis, Marko Jaric, Mark Blount and Juwan Howard. Howard already has expressed a desire to play elsewhere and the other three reportedly are being shopped. But playing them enough minutes to avoid their grumbling probably means giving up too many minutes that would be better spent on the kids. And if the on-the-job training for the likes of Al Jefferson, Randy Foye, Craig Smith, Gerald Green and the rest doesn't produce victories that would stifle the neglected vets, look out.
"Rebuilding is just an excuse for losing,'' Davis said the other day. Coach Randy Wittman, who at this point has no idea what the team's pecking order is, admits he will be keeping an eye on a possible split within the ranks.
Talkin T'-Wolves with thoughts on the team's training camp.
Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman won't disclose his system of fines for players who don't follow team rules but said: "They'll know. We're building this thing from the bottom up with young kids, and we've got to teach them the right way to play and the right way to conduct themselves. That's going to be as important as anything else."
Judd Zulgad/Star Tribune on Alan Horton, the team's new radio play-by-play announcer
Click here for video of Randy Wittman from Media Day.no comments
Steve Greenberg/Sporting News on observing and talking to Al Jefferson at the team's practice facility:
Best of all, from Jefferson himself: "After my rookie year, I think the hype went to my head. I didn't work as hard as I should have. I came into my second year feeling like I had it made, but I wasn't in shape. I blew it. So the next offseason, I worked out every day, watched what I ate, lost 30 pounds and had a breakout year. All I am about now is work out every day, no fried food, no sweets, Subway all the time, work on my left hand, shoot 100 free throws a day, be a leader and become an All-Star. That's it, man. Once again, take care of your game and the game takes care of you."
Greenberg also talks to Kevin McHale about Jefferson.
Stephen Litel/Downtown Journal on the preseason game against the Celtics and a question he asked Coach Wittman on Mark Blount.
"In the locker room in Minnesota, you had one or two people really being the voice," said Hudson, who played for five seasons with the Timberwolves. "KG (Kevin Garnett), he did a great job, and he was a person you would listen to ... but here it's more of a collective unit..."
At Hoopsworld, Trent Hassell talks about not playing with Garnett and joining the Mavs.
Keith Firmin/SLAM Online with notes on yesterday's game.no comments