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News » Timberwolves guard Telfair's importance increasing

Timberwolves guard Telfair's importance increasing

Timberwolves guard Telfair's importance increasing
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Sebastian Telfair's increasing importance to the Minnesota Timberwolves never was more evident than in their loss to Detroit on Wednesday night.

With their point guard and catalyst on the bench with a bruised thigh, the Wolves let an 11-point third-quarter lead slip away in a 98-89 loss to the Pistons that snapped a three-game winning streak.

After the game, coach Kevin McHale said it looked like his team "was stuck in second gear" for most of the game. For most of his second season in Minnesota, and especially during the Wolves' 10-3 January, Telfair has had his hand on the stick shift.

"When he's able to turn the corner and do some stuff, he gives us a whole other element," McHale said after practice on Thursday. "And poor Bassy couldn't turn the corner. He was out there kind of dragging his leg around and hopefully he's better (Friday)."

Telfair did only some light work in practice on Thursday, but said he is hopeful to play on Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. He was first injured against Milwaukee on Monday night, but still was able to start the game against the Pistons on Wednesday.

"It was feeling pretty good, and then the second play of the game (Pistons forward) Amir Johnson kneed me in the same spot," Telfair said. "From that point on, I was on one leg."

And so were the Wolves.

Throughout this much-improved month, the Timberwolves have thrived on playing in transition. Telfair has been the one most responsible for setting that pace, and it simply wasn't there while he watched most of the second half from the bench.

"He keeps us up-tempo. He keeps us moving," forward Kevin Love said. "Yesterday even on the defensive end we were slow getting up the court."

The Timberwolves managed just four fast-break points for the game and only created seven turnovers.

With Kevin Ollie still sidelined by an elbow injury, Telfair is the only healthy true point guard on the roster. Randy Foye slid over from his shooting guard spot to run the show, which had an adverse effect on his game. Foye finished with a modest 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting.

"Bassy gets a lot of guys involved and he can score too," forward Al Jefferson said. "He gets Randy shots and when Randy's at the point, it's kind of difficult for Randy to get his own shot off because he's trying to get everyone else involved. That's why I like the idea of Bassy at the (point) and Randy at the (shooting guard)."

All that shows just how far Telfair has come since he was considered a throw-in from Boston in the Kevin Garnett trade before last season. He signed a two-year deal to stay in Minnesota in July and now finds himself as an important cog in the team's success.

"That's why when you get injuries, it bothers you so much," Telfair said. "The things I could have brought to the team in the fourth quarter, I wasn't able to do it. It's mind-wrecking."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 30, 2009


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