We all remember the beginning of the Minnesota Timberwolves season? Hopes were high amongst fans that this was the year the Wolves would finally make it to the NBA Playoffs and possibly to the Championship.
Now Minnesota is midway through the season, the same season where they were suppose to dominate, but the bad news just keeps rolling in for the Timberwolves.
Prior to game on Saturday night against Portland, the Wolves said that guard Kevin Martin is out “indefinitely” after he fractured his left thumb on Friday in the final minutes of the Timberwolves loss to New Orleans.
Martin underwent an MRI Saturday morning that revealed a “non-displaced fracture” in the thumb of his non-shooting hand.
There is no timetable on Martin’s return, but the team expects that he won’t return until sometime after next week’s All-Star break. The Wolves’ play their final game of the season’s first half Wednesday against Denver before coming back to the court one week later.
But Martin’s injury is just one more significant blow for the Wolves, who are already fighting to stay in the Western Conference playoff picture. And the loss to the Pelicans on Friday dropped them two games below the .500 mark.
Not only is Martin out, but Nikola Pekovic has been out almost two weeks with a sore right ankle and his return is still questionable. Coach Rick Adelman said before the game on Saturday he assumes that Pekovic will miss the last three games before the All-Star game. He has now missed seven games because of the ankle injury.
And because when it rains it pours, the Wolves announced Kevin Love would miss Saturday night’s game due to a left quad contusion. Love has taken a beating in the games since Pekovic went down, battling through a multitude of injuries and nagging soreness
Love made no mention of not being able to play Saturday when he spoke to reporters pregame, saying only he is “continuing to fight through it, trying to shake off all these bad feelings I have in my body”
On Tuesday against the Lakers, Love took a hard fall in the fourth quarter, slamming his head and hip into the ground after taking a hit. He said he was still feeling “disoriented” when he took the court Friday at New Orleans. He ended up adding another area of soreness to his list later that night after getting hit in the knee in collision with the Pelicans’ Greg Stiemsma.
As a result, he opted to sit out one night later.
With the West being super competitive this year, a fully healthy Timberwolves are going to have a hard time climbing out of the hole they have dug themselves into. They are going to have to find a way to close the loop of close losses and blown second-half leads that have unfortunately become the norm thus far. But the Wolves are missing their top three point producers and that decreases their odds even more. Optimistically the Wolves can come back after the All-Star Break healthy and raring to go. But they are in for an uphill battle, and they should take the advice of Adelman, “Every game is important for us, we’ve got to make some hay.”