Jeff Teague says ‘guys ran out of gas’ in Timberwolves’ loss to Memphis Grizzlies
Timberwolves veteran point guard Jeff Teagues 42 minutes played in Monday nights damaging home loss to Memphis wasnt such a rare event, it just seemed that way.
Fellow starters Taj Gibson and Andrew Wiggins played 43 minutes each and Karl-Anthony Towns 39 in a game when the Wolves shot 3-for-17 and were outscored 23-11 in the fourth quarter by a Memphis team that lost a game by 61 points to Charlotte last week and had won once since late January.
On a team for which coach Tom Thibodeau sometimes plays his starters 40 minutes or more, Teague said fatigue might have been a factor but not an excuse for the seasons worst loss.
That might be like my third time in my life playing like 40 minutes, Teague said before Wednesdays game against Atlanta. Its a little different. A little banged up, I banged knees with someone. Its part of the game. Youve got to adjust.
Teagues math is slightly off: He has played 40 or more minutes 47 times in his NBA career.
I think some guys ran out of gas, Teague said. Im not going to lie. I was a little tired, but thats not an excuse. If youre on the floor, you have to be able to help our team win.
Asked if he expects more of the same, Teague said, Im not sure. I think we have guys who are capable of playing and contributing to this team and making big plays, so hopefully theyll get an opportunity.
Thibodeau praised both Teague and Gibson for recognizing the physical nature of Mondays game and adjusting appropriately.
They werent whining about not getting the calls, Thibodeau said. They knew how they wanted to handle that and respond.
Waiting for Jimmy
All-Star guard Jimmy Butler ran, shot and jumped at Wednesdays shoot around, but he hasnt yet been cleared for contact practice. Thibodeau calls that the next step building toward Butlers return.
That could be in time for the regular seasons final two games, both at Target Center: against Memphis on April 9 and against Denver on April 11.
Jimmy is Jimmy, Teague said. Something with that dudes DNA, man. I think anybody else would have been done for the season, but hes that kind of guy out there working. Hopefully, he can make a return.
Between 40 and 50 friends and family members attended Wednesday for the only visit of Rosevilles own Mike Muscala with the Hawks this season. Muscala had just enough time to stop by his country home south of the Twin Cities where he spends part of the offseason. He missed 22 games early this season because of an ankle injury that wouldnt heal.
When hes healthy, hes such a smart player, Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. He understands how we play. Once he got back healthy, he has been the same old Muskie, which is really effective for us on both ends.
The swelling in his sprained ankle is down and Wolves injured veteran guard Derrick Rose is closer to playing but not close enough. He missed his third consecutive game Wednesday after injuring that ankle last week.
Wolves veteran backup center Cole Aldrich missed his second consecutive game because he was home ill.
Two seasons removed from playing for the team that drafted and NBA raised him, Teague said playing the Hawks now is no different than any other game. Its kind of old now, its over with, he said. Last year was special. Now its over.