Wolves point guard Jeff Teague might play Wednesday vs. Oklahoma City
Thirteen days after he sustained a sprained MCL, Timberwolves point guard Jeff Teague practiced with the team Tuesday and could return to play as soon as Wednesdays game against Northwest Division rival Oklahoma City.
Each day, he has done more and more, Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. Well see how he feels [Wednesday] and well go from there.
The Wolves upgraded Teague from out to questionable in their injury report.
Teague has missed seven games since Denvers Will Barton fell on his leg late in the fourth quarter of the Wolves 128-125 overtime victory on Dec. 27, causing a mild Grade 1 sprain of the knee ligament.
He has shot and moved around in recent days wearing a brace on his leg.
Its heavy, Teague said.
Without him, backup Tyus Jones has started those seven games and the Wolves have gone 4-3. Jones played 28 minutes and had eight assists in Mondays 127-99 blowout of Cleveland and provided the nights most memorable play when he stole the ball and beat LeBron James to the rim for a fierce slam dunk.
Obviously, Jeff is a great player and with him coming back, were all excited and happy for him and happy for the team, Jones said. Ill continue to play my part and do my role whatever Coach is asking of me and just do it to the best of my ability.
No harm, but flagrant
Upon further review, neither Thibodeau nor Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins considered Cleveland guard Isaiah Thomas chop to Wiggins chin/neck an intent to injure Monday. After a video review, referees determined Thomas steal attempt was a flagrant foul type 2 and ejected him from the game midway through the third quarter.
I dont think so, Thibodeau said. [Thomas is] just coming back [from a hip injury]. I dont think hes a dirty player. He said he goes for steals and he does. It looked awkward. I dont think it was from my observation and I know Andrew felt that way, too.
Wiggins said he felt fine Tuesday.
Im cool, Im good, he said. I was going fast, I got hit pretty hard. Its part of the game. He didnt mean to do it. He apologized. Its all good, though.
Thomas said after the game that he didnt expect to be ejected.
I was surprised, he said. I went for the ball. But I know that anything around the head, especially, that looks bad will probably [get a player] thrown out. So I just made sure that he was good and made sure he knew I had no intention to hurt him
Ive got numerous steals like that, going up like that. It just so happened I hit him in the throat and I apologized right away because I knew. I didnt mean to hit him like that. Im just glad that he is all right.
Zach comes back
Former Wolves guard Zach LaVine will play his first game since February knee surgery in Chicagos game Saturday against Detroit, the Bulls announced Tuesday. The Wolves dealt LaVine in a five-player, draft-night deal last summer for Jimmy Butler.
Its great, Thibodeau said. Hes worked extremely hard. Occasionally, I get a text from him. I guess Ill text him. Im happy for him. Hes a great guy. Hes a terrific player and anytime you go through the length of rehab like that, its not easy. I think hes handled that very well.
Television ratings for Wolves games on Fox Sports North through 40 games are 66 percent higher than this time last season, according to the network. The current ratings are on pace to be the highest since the 2011-12 season, Ricky Rubios rookie season. Mondays game was the third-highest rated this season.
Wolves big man Gorgui Dieng, a national champion at Louisville, rooted for Alabama in Mondays college football national championship game against Georgia because, well, he likes winners. I dont like losing, so theyre a good team, he said. That was a good game. Theyre a good team.
Thibodeau when asked if he can yell at LaVine via text message: I guess I could try, right? A tip: USE ALL CAPS!