The preseason comes to Minnesota tonight as the Wolves take on the Pacers at the Target Center at 7:00pm CST.
Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman appeared a little frustrated Monday. Just when he thought he was closer to getting his point guards back, setbacks struck.
Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair both took a step back during practice when they aggravated injuries. Foye bumped his right knee, which has been bothered by tendinitis, and Telfair tweaked his sprained left ankle. Wittman said both players are doubtful for tonight's exhibition game against the Indiana Pacers, the Wolves' first game this preseason at Target Center.
Telfair, Al Jefferson and the three other Celtics acquired in the Garnett trade have played on the Target Center floor before, but never coming out of the home team's dressing room.
"First time," Jefferson said. "I've been waiting on this all preseason. When I used to play here, it was always a tough crowd. Now I'm looking forward to the fans to show me love like they used to show love for their team when I played here with the Celtics."
Mike Wells/Indy Star on the Pacers lineup tonight
He said forward Shawne Williams will sit out the final two preseason games since Williams is suspended for the first three regular-season games after his arrest last month.
Forward Jermaine O'Neal will miss his third straight game tonight with a swollen left knee. Center David Harrison (ankle) will be a game-time decision. Center Troy Murphy is still out with a strained Achilles.no comments
Jeremy from The Old Timberwolves Logo has moved over to Twolves Blog. You can check out his first post here.
Tas and Skeets offer up a Northwest Division preview podcast at The Basketball Jones.
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site with a roundup of news on the team. Trudell also writes on the team's "See What They Can Do" promotional events.
Archibald "Sweetwater" Jones, a character featured in the Wolves new commercials, has his own website.
At a Timberwolves corporate luncheon Monday at Target Center, team owner Glen Taylor said he'll be "very patient" with this year's team while beginning a rebuilding process.no comments
NBA.com lists the Wolves at #28 in its first power rankings on season.
The T-Wolves aren't that young. They've vets Juwan Howard, Ricky Davis and Theo Ratliff in the rotation. And Al Jefferson does have three years of NBA experience under his belt.
Stephen Litel/Downtown Journal on team changes he'd like to see this week.
Tom Ziller/Fanhouse on the Class of 2004 extensions.
If Jefferson's asking for max money right now, Minnesota's smart for not giving it to him. Say they don't get an extension done by next week and Big Al becomes an RFA next summer. The market (or perhaps one stupid GM) decides if he's worth max money. If the market says 'yes,' you match the offer sheet. If the market says 'no' (due to a poor year or a lack of free agency dollars out there), you work out a deal with the protection of a qualifying offer...
Conrad Brunner/Pacers.com on Fred Hoiberg:
Though he is fit, active and energetic, Hoiberg said his health is "always going to be an issue." He has a pacemaker, must get an echocardiogram every six months and likely will need another open-heart surgery to repair a leaky valve.
"The fortunate thing for me is I found the really dangerous thing when I did," he said. "Had I not gone in for a life insurance exam I never would've found out about my heart condition until it was too late. I was basically out there playing with a ticking time-bomb in my chest. I'm very fortunate to not only find out when I did, I'm fortunate to be alive right now."no comments
The following sites have posted season previews of the team:
Timberwolves Today has posted the third episode of the Kissing Marney Gellner podcast.
"You can't believe everything you read. The Eddie Griffin I know was no different than the average athlete or the general person walking around . . . If you ask people that really knew the dude, they'll tell you he was a real good person, man."no comments
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press,the Bucks Michael Redd on Corey Brewer:
"He's long," Redd told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I encouraged him to keep working hard. I told him when the regular season comes, the intensity of guys will be much higher.
"He's going to be awesome, an all-defensive player, definitely."
Also from Alonzo:
Wolves swingman Gerald Green showed he still has a lot to learn with his performance against Milwaukee. He shot 3 for 8, and almost all were tough shots.
From Nets Daily:
Taking Hoopshype’s unofficial payroll numbers as a benchmark, it looks like 11 teams will be over the tax threshold once rosters are sorted out by opening night, and they could pay a total of about $75 million in taxes, a 25% increase over last season when only five teams paid $55.6 million in taxes.
Like last year, the Knicks will probably pay the most, an estimated $21.3 million. That’s down from $45.1 million. Following closely behind are the Mavericks at $18.1 million, the Nuggets at $11.6 million, the Celtics at $8.6 million, the Sixers at $4.7 million, the Heat at $3.7 million, the Suns at $2.7 million, and the Timberwolves, still $505,000 over in spite of trading Kevin Garnett. In addition, the Nets, Spurs and Cavs are also likely to be over once the final contracts are signed. Some teams may be able to get close to or under the threshold, like the Heat who have several partially guaranteed and non-guaranteed deals.
Click here for a list of some of the team's upcoming promotional events.no comments
From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune:
The Wolves need to reduce their roster by Oct. 29 and have limited options other than buying at least one player out of his contract and making a two-for-one player trade, a difficult prospect at best. With the roster already loaded with forwards, Richard could be sent to the NBA development league if it becomes clear he won't play regularly to start the season.
"A lot of different things can happen," Wittman said, hinting that the team could make other decisions to clear space for Richard. "We like Chris. But if it's obvious he's not going to be part of an eight- or nine-man rotation, then it's going to be important for him to play."
Wittman said he won't hesitate to recommend sending players to the Development League this season if warranted, as a tool to learn or regroup from injuries. That includes Richard, if the staff believes the second-round pick would be better off there at times this season.
Wittman said that, in retrospect, the Wolves probably should have sent Rashad McCants to the D-League last season after he returned from knee surgery.
Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune on Theo Ratliff:
It looks as if he'll be the regular-season starting center on nights when Wittman doesn't go to a small lineup and starts Al Jefferson instead.
"I'm doing great, but I'm still in the recovery," said Ratliff, who has averaged 6.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, and 18.7 minutes in three exhibition contests...
From J.A. Adande/ESPN:
But there was this quote from Garnett in Slam magazine: "I think [Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor'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."
Timberwolves fans should be furious that the incompetent McHale means more to Taylor than Garnett.
Former Celtics assistant coach and current Bucks assistant Tony Brown on Al Jefferson:
"Hopefully he can get to the point where he gets all-star status," Brown said. "We wouldn't want to put that pressure on him right now. But he definitely has that ability."
From Dime Magazine:
Ricky Davis went for 19 points, 9 boards and 7 assists in a double-OT win over Indiana. When it became apparent Ricky was within triple-double range, everyone had to have been scrutinizing his moves to see if he was trying too hard for the stats...
Sekou Smith/Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Al Jefferson and others in the class of 2004 who are "expected to sign deals in the $30 million to $60 million range."
There was some bad for Brewer, but mostly there was a lot of good during what was his best exhibition game so far. He scored 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting and had six assists, though it wasn't enough to keep the Wolves from losing 106-97 at Bradley Center.
Forward Ryan Gomes played after missing all but four minutes of games at Memphis, Atlanta and Indiana (turned ankle). In 15 minutes, he scored five points and hit a three-pointer that got the Wolves within a basket with 5:12 left.no comments
The front office hopes to upgrade this new roster's profile substantially starting Monday, when it will launch what team President Chris Wright calls a "rebranding" effort.
It will include much advertising, as well as daily public promotional events for the 12 days leading to the Nov. 2 opener against Denver at Target Center.
The campaign will come with the slogan, "See What They Can Do," a reference to a roster that includes seven players who are 24 or younger.
The Wolves take on the Bucks in Milwaukee tonight at 7:30pm CST. The game will be broadcast locally on BOB 106.1.
Foye and Telfair aren't expected to play tonight at Milwaukee.
Forward Ryan Gomes said his sprained ankle bothered him a little after Friday morning's shootaround. He dressed but did not play, though he hopes to play tonight.
"He brings a guidance," Wittman said. "He's not a vocal guy. It's just the small, little things he has done with the young guys: 'You've got to do this on this play,' or 'You've got to do that on that play.' With those things, he has been unbelievable. I wouldn't even have dreamed we'd get that when we made the deal."
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site with an in-depth look at Corey Brewer.
Ratliff isn't getting any younger at 34, but his physical condition seems to contradict what would be expected of a player his age, not to mention one who had back surgery less than a year ago.
"He's making a believer of me that he deserves minutes," said Wolves coach Randy Wittman, whose team opens the regular season Nov. 2 against Denver. "I hope for his sake that he stays healthy. He's been great; he really has."
The results of the Timberwolves site's most recent Battle of the Bloggers are up.no comments
Unbeaten met winless Friday, and the Timberwolves left Conseco Fieldhouse late in the evening with their first victory over NBA competition.
In two overtimes.
Leading by 23 points in the third quarter, down by three in the fourth quarter's final seconds, the Wolves persevered, forcing overtime on Al Jefferson's late three-point play, forcing the second overtime on Chris Richard's buzzer- beating tip and then finally winning 113-110 with youngsters Rashad McCants and Craig Smith leading the way...
Timberwolves forward Chris Richard made a couple of big plays late in the Wolves' 113-110 double-overtime win over Indiana on Friday night...
Also from Alonzo:
Wittman took a charge during the second quarter when Indiana's 7-foot center David Harrison plowed into him, knocking the Wolves coach against the scorer's table...no comments