Shootaround Access | Wolves vs. Grizzlies

Todd Barin
Web Editorial Associate

After a much-needed two days off, Minnesota is back in action tonight as they take on the Memphis Grizzlies in a Western Conference battle.

The Timberwolves are only 1-4 with two or more days off this season, but they will look to improve that record at home against the 25-19 Grizzlies.

“They’re playing good in the last four games,” Memphis coach David Joerger said of the Wolves. “They’ve had double-digit leads in the second half and it’ll be a tough game for us. We’re pretty banged up so they’re going to play well and it’ll be a tough game.”

Minnesota is the only team in the league with a better record on the road, but the veterans on the team are doing their best to keep the young guns optimistic.

“Winning is a process,” 20-year veteran Kevin Garnett said. “You just don’t wake up and put your clothes on and tada, you know? You come in here and you work at it. It’s new guys learning each other’s games, understanding new schemes from a new coach, new situations and then you build off of that. Teaching these guys how to communicate with each other, how to play along with each other, how to share the ball, how to stay hindsight and stay positive, to accept each other with their flaws because we all do that and we all have them, and to continue to love to play this game and play it together.”

To a team filled with inexperienced players, Garnett is a priceless asset. The 39-year-old has had a huge effect on the Wolves by being the vocal and emotional leader both on and off of the court.

“When you make sacrifices, you want to think that you’re giving something back and that’s what I’m trying to do,” Garnett said. “I’m making sacrifices to better this team from a veteran standpoint. Take Tayshawn, myself, K-Mart and Andre out of the picture, then you have a bunch of 21,23, 24 year-olds leading each other with no experience. So the sacrifices I’ve made for myself are to better the youth here and to better this organization going forward.”

One of those players Garnett is helping to develop is Karl-Anthony Towns, who has seemed to do nothing but impress Joerger.

“He’s a talented guy and he has a lot of stuff in his toolbox,” Joerger said. “He’s going to be a 10-time All-Star, I don’t have any doubt about that. He’s going to be good. He’s obviously very talented and he seems like a really good guy. When you have people who are character guys, they are going to work hard and care about their organization and care about their team. Doing things for the right reason and doing things the right way and it seems like that’s his approach.”

Minnesota and Memphis tip-off at 7:00 p.m.