Veteran Marko Jaric didn’t attend Wolves practice Thursday because he’s still sick with the flu. Craig Smith was ill, as well, so he watched from the sidelines. But the Wolves did get two other players back: Antoine Walker and Greg Buckner both practiced. Their status remains day to day. Buckner has missed the past seven games because of a strained right calf.
Previews for tonight’s game against Indiana:
for the forum’s game thread
Gerald Green was a bright spot during the loss to Golden State. He had season highs of 18 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes. That performance earned him more playing time, Wittman said.
Wittman has said he wants Green to improve his shot selection. More recently, assistant coach Jerry Sichting said Green needs to improve his concentration on defense.
Before the season, the Wolves decided not to pick up the option for next season on Green’s contract, which means he will be a free agent next summer.
Injuries have really hit the Timberwolves hard, with players missing 69 games. … For some time, the Wolves were giving strong consideration to sending second-round draft choice Chris Richard to the NBA development league. But coach Randy Wittman, impressed by Richard’s toughness, has been playing the former Florida star and he definitely will stay with the team.
The Wolves are one of nine teams in NBA history that has started a season with three or fewer victories in the first 24 games and their 3-21 start invites comparisons to the worst team in NBA history, the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers that won nine games and lost 73 times.
Zgoda on owner Glen Taylor:
He said that he will not judge Wittman on the number of victories, but rather the team’s improvement over the season, particularly once injured young guard Randy Foye returns to good health. In his rookie season last year, Foye thrived in the game’s final quarter, a troublesome time for this season’s team.
With some quick math skills, you’ll notice the Wolves aren’t too far off the 76ers’ pace. Their 3-21 record puts them on track to be 10-70 after 80 games, with just two more left to play after that.
7,000: season tickets (or their equivalents) sold for the 19,356-capacity Target Center
$10-$15 million: amount the team expects to lose this season
This team has a purpose. This losing, with any luck, will land the Wolves their choice of dynamic players in the next draft. And what else could matter for this team, other than landing a franchise player to pair with Al Jefferson?
Wittman seems surprisingly upbeat for a guy coaching the NBA’s worst team. But he apparently sees a big picture.
"We should be better than we are," he said. "We’ve had games to win that we didn’t win. But as long as these guys come every night, they come to practice every day, that I don’t see guys quitting, they’re resilient. … I’m happy about that."
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