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Injuries keep NBA stars benched at start
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 28, 2012 @ 2:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
A push-up brought them down.
The Minnesota Timberwolves spent the offseason rebuilding their roster, turning eight years of frustrations into a potential playoff team with an unusual blend of veterans and young talent. At the heart was Kevin Love, their lone All-Star last season and one of the NBA’s emerging stars.
But the power forward broke his hand this month doing push-ups on his knuckles, and he will be out until December. With that, the Timberwolves joined a glut of NBA teams with franchise players starting the season on the bench.
The Chicago Bulls are without point guard Derrick Rose, the Dallas Mavericks sans forward Dirk Nowitzki, the New York Knicks minus forward Amar’e Stoudemire. Even the mighty Los Angeles Lakers held guard Kobe Bryant out of the team’s final preseason games with a sprained foot.
And there’s no lockout-compressed schedule to blame this fall.
“Last year all everybody wanted to talk about was we had injuries because of shortened training camp and a lot of games,” Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said. “This year, we’ve had normal training camp and people are still going down.
“There are some teams that can sustain it when that guy’s out. You hope it doesn’t happen to your team, but unfortunately for us, it did.”
Adelman already was saddled with replacing one starter. Point guard Ricky Rubio, a vivacious playmaker who captivated T’wolves fans last season as a rookie, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in March and will be out until at least December. Rubio continues to rehab, but Adelman is reluctant to name a return date.
Minnesota has options, starting with forward Derrick Williams. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft disappointed as a rookie but can return to his natural position with Love out. Williams shedded weight in the offseason in hopes of playing more on the wing. He possesses a nice set of moves and hard-to-defend quickness in the post.
“There’s a big difference between the two positions,” Adelman said. “The fact that he was drafted second probably puts more pressure on him. It’s probably better for him to play one position, … [For more on Significant injuries keep NBA stars benched at start, click here.]
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