MINNEAPOLIS — For the second straight season, the Timberwolves’ veteran head coach will spend at least one game away from the sidelines.
The team announced at about 5:30 p.m. Monday that Rick Adelman won’t coach against Houston "due to personal reasons," according to a release. Adelman missed 11 games last January to tend to his wife, who suffered a series of seizures.
Assistant coach Terry Porter will act as head coach in Adelman’s stead. Porter took over for Adelman during his absence last year — Minnesota went 2-9 — and oversaw a practice earlier this season when Adelman was away from the team for the birth of his grandson.
"There’s some familiarity with him not being there," Porter said. "Obviously, the roster’s different. But for me and the rest of the coaching staff, it’s really the same."
Porter said the Timberwolves expect Adelman back by Wednesday’s home game against Denver, their last before the All-Star break.
At 1,026-734, Adelman is the eighth-winningest coach in NBA history and the winningest active coach in the league. The Timberwolves are 81-118 under his watch (including the games he missed last season) and enter Monday’s game against Houston at 24-27 and six games back of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot.
While Adelman, in his 23rd year as a head coach, won’t be around, Minnesota will have the services of All-Star power forward Kevin Love. He missed Saturday’s game with a left quad contusion suffered Friday but said he should be good to go Monday night.
"Sounds like he’s gonna give it a test," Porter said. "Definitely said he’s gonna give it a try, go through warm-ups and see how it feels."
Minnesota had Sunday off and didn’t shoot around Monday morning in hopes of resting after playing four games in five days last week. The extra respite helped matters, Love said.
"The rest did me some good," said Love, who’s also been playing with a sore neck and back, among other minor strains. "I can bend the leg a little bit more. It’s still not 100 percent, but I’m going to go out there and give it a go."
The Timberwolves are still without center Nikola Pekovic (right-ankle bursitis) and shooting guard Kevin Martin (left-thumb fracture) and don’t expect either back before the All-Star break. Ronny Turiaf and Chase Budinger were slated to start in their places Monday night at the Target Center.