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News » Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2009-11-01

Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2009-11-01

Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2009-11-01Timberwolves star forward Al Jefferson's season a year ago ended in New Orleans on a February night when he came down with all his weight on his right leg and hopped across the court before collapsing with what soon was diagnosed as a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

By September, he was cleared for contact workouts, just seven months after surgery.

It's nearly November now and the Wolves' first two regular-season games suggest his recovery continues.

Jefferson has played 25 minutes in each of those first two games and is still trying to find the rhythm and confidence that has made him one of the NBA's best low-post scorers.

In Friday's home loss to Cleveland, Jefferson's playing time was limited both by an unfavorable matchup with Cavs center Shaquille O'Neal and perhaps by an Achilles' tendon that flared up last week.

The same guy who averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds last season before he was injured is averaging 10.5 points on 30.4 percent shooting (7-for-23) and 5.5 rebounds in those two games as the Wolves head to Phoenix and Los Angeles for back-to-back games Sunday against the Suns and Monday against the Clippers.

"I think he just has to continue to be patient," Wolves coach Kurt Rambis said. "He's coming back from knee surgery and dealing with an Achilles' (tendon injury). He's probably a little frustrated."

Frustrated, and grumpy after Friday's game in which he struggled to find his form.

"My timing is still not there," Jefferson said. "Every shot I took (Friday night), I've made those shots before. I didn't make them (Friday night). I just have to keep working on my shot at practice and after practice."

CAVALIERS 104, TIMBERWOLVES 87: The Timberwolves conjured magic in their season opener on Wednesday, when they recovered from 16 points behind with fewer than seven minutes left to beat New Jersey on Damien Wilkins' buzzer beater.

Of course, LeBron James wasn't in the house that night.

Neither was Shaquille O'Neal nor the Cleveland Cavaliers, who on Friday shrugged off their unexpected 0-2 season start with a never-in-doubt winning performance in which they led by 10 points in the first quarter, by 13 in the second, by 17 in the third and by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter.

LeBron James delivered a typically dominant 24-point, nine-rebound, six-assist game, and didn't score a point in the fourth quarter, when the game had already gone before been decided.

His 29.4 career scoring average against the Wolves is the Wolves' all-time highest career average by an opponent, just a fraction better than Michael Jordan's 29.2 career average against them.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 1, 2009


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