Practice Report | Feb. 20, 2014
Wolves forward Kevin Love on Thursday denied a Twitter-based report that circulated Wednesday night after the Wolves' 104-91 win over the Pacers regarding his status with the Timberwolves and his demand to be traded. The report said Love talked with Flip Saunders prior to the All-Star Break and voiced his intention to opt out of his contract next season. Saunders replied via Twitter denying the claim on Wednesday night, and Love followed suit the next day.
“No, we (Love and Saunders) laughed about it today,” Love said after Thursday’s practice at the LifeTime Fitness Training Center. “I mean, it’s a media-driven story. I just, the last couple years I just can’t believe some of the stuff that’s come out, but you know, we went out and played hard last night and it was a great performance as a team and you know, to see some stuff like that is just kind of disheartening.”
It’s something that’s been talked about before, but Love has a point after perhaps his team’s most impressive win of the season, defeating the Eastern Conference’s best team last night at Target Center. And Love had 42 points in the win, which oddly enough maybe have helped fuel the speculation.
Wolves head coach Rick Adelman has heard his fair share of rumors throughout his coaching career and he said that there comes a time when a player or a coach in the NBA has to just ignore it.
“It gets to the point where you just ignore it,” Adelman said. “I know I do… Somebody puts out a report ‘Oh I heard this’ and suddenly it’s true?”
Love has been bombarded with questions as of late and he said on Thursday that his main concern right now is with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“Yeah, of course and I got you know, a slew of those questions at All-Star and I just basically said I’m done talking about it and then Peter Vecsey, who I don’t think I’ve really ever talked to, comes out with a story,” Love said. “You know, me and Flip are laughing about it this morning, but the worst part is that it takes away from the team and you know, I have to be here answering questions about it today after a great performance from us last night.”
So far, Love said it hasn’t been a distraction at all in the locker room. He said the team is focused on making a run and winning games, rather than keeping track of what’s happening with the trade deadline.
“No, they laugh at it,” Love said. “We walk into the locker room today and we’re jarring at each other and jawing and saying ‘You’re still here? You’re still here? You’re still here?’ You know, it’s just we have fun with it.”
The Timberwolves announced after practice that center Ronny Turiaf underwent an MRI this morning and it revealed a right bone bruise. He’s out indefinitely. The injury happened midway through the fourth quarter of last night’s game.
Turiaf’s injury comes at a pretty inconvenient time, as the team is already without big man Nikola Pekovic, who’s missed the last seven games with an ankle injury. The good news is that Pekovic is considered day-to-day and had a light workout with the team. The bad news is that Pekovic still hasn’t gone through a full practice since his injury.
The Wolves, who next play on Saturday against Utah, don’t have a lot of options at the center position.
“G’s (Gorgui Dieng) going to get a little opportunity,” Adelman said. “We’ll play Kevin (Love) and Dante (Cunningham) there. We’ll have to probably move Luc (Mbah a Moute) to some forward and maybe play Robbie (Hummel). We’ll have to make adjustments.”
Love, who has gone through his fair share of bumps and bruises this season, joked that he’ll play the center position under one condition.
“Yeah, I welcome it as long as I’m not taking anymore shots on anywhere on my body,” Love said.
The team expects shooting guard Kevin Martin (thumb) to be reevaluated tomorrow.
The Wolves face off against big men Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Utah. The game will be aired on Fox Sports North and WCCO 830-AM.