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News » Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2008-12-02

Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2008-12-02

Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2008-12-02
Forward Corey Brewer spent all last summer working hard at Target Center -- on his shot, on his game -- to ensure that his second NBA season would be much improved over his first.

Now, after just 15 games, his season is over.

Brewer, one of the team's young rebuilding blocks, will miss the rest of the season because of a torn ligament in his right knee suffered in Saturday night's loss to Denver.

On Sunday, Brewer, the seventh pick overall in 2007, told basketball boss Kevin McHale that he was just starting to grow comfortable with the pro game.

On Monday, he and the team learned he will need surgery to repair a tear in his anterior cruciate ligament.

"I personally feel bad for the kid because I know how much time he put in and how he sacrificed to be a better player," McHale said. "And it was just starting to come around for him. It's a setback, and we're just going to have to deal with it. It's not what you want, but he's 22 and he'll bounce back and be fine. The good news is he's 22. The bad news is that's time for most guys to play and really improve their game."

The Wolves lose their best individual defender at a small-forward position. Little-used Rodney Carney, enigmatic Rashad McCants and starting guard Mike Miller all could be asked to assume some of Brewer's minutes and duties.

When McHale, who is on the team's three-game Eastern trip that started Monday in Charlotte, was asked if the team would make a trade to help replace Brewer, he said, "We'll see what happens."

Coach Randy Wittman said he could play McCants and Carney together at the perimeter guard and forward positions, put Kevin Ollie and Randy Foye together in the backcourt and move Miller to forward. He played Ollie, Foye and McCants together in a very small lineup some of the time in Monday's loss at Charlotte.

"Opportunities, opportunities ... for somebody to step up and provide quality minutes that Corey was supplying," Wittman said. "I thought Corey was starting to fall into understanding how to play and playing with some good confidence. He gives us great energy off the bench. We're going to miss that. I think we've got guys who can step up now and provide that."

Surgery will be scheduled once the swelling subsides.

"That's a big blow to him and a big blow to our team," forward Ryan Gomes said. "He makes plays that really don't show up too much in the stats. He's one of our best defenders because he can guard a lot of different guys at a lot of different positions. We have to become much better defensively as a team now because he could make those plays and guard guys 1-on-1."

BOBCATS 100, WOLVES 90: The Wolves played on without Corey Brewer's energy Monday night in Charlotte.

But it wasn't so much what they lacked -- other than perhaps attention to detail. It was what they had too much of in a loss to the Bobcats.

They had too many turnovers and too many defensive mistakes. And there was too much Jason Richardson and too much Emeka Okafor.

The Wolves committed 14 of their 18 turnovers by halftime, and by then Richardson, in his third game back from exploratory knee surgery, had 19 of his game-high 25 points and the Bobcats had a seven-point lead they would never relinquish. Okafor scored 24, nine of those in the fourth quarter.

By the third quarter, Wolves coach Randy Wittman made little-used veteran Brian Cardinal his first player off the bench and turned to veteran Kevin Ollie, just back from six games away because of a calf injury, to run the offense for 10 minutes because Wittman said he needed to find somebody who could follow the game plan.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 2, 2008


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