Wolves Wednesday: Adelman returns, in good spirits
FEB 12, 2014 8:07p ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- Rick Adelman missed the Timberwolves' game Monday and practice Tuesday for the same reason he stepped aside temporarily last season. But the head coach says his wife, after suffering a minor health setback, is in stable shape.
"It's just something, my wife had a little problem and that is it," Adelman said before Wednesday's game against Denver, Minnesota's last before the All-Star break.
Adelman missed 11 games last January to be with his wife, Mary Kay, who suffered a series of seizures at that point. Due to what the team characterized as "personal reasons," he watched the Timberwolves' 107-89 loss to Houston from home Monday and didn't return to the Target Center till Wednesday.
After the midseason ordeal last season, Adelman spent the better part of the summer contemplating whether to return for a 23rd season of coaching or not. It appears this latest absence, at least for the moment, carries less gravity.
"We're just taking it day by day," Adelman said. "It's fine. I just had to take care of it, and I planned on being here today, and it's worked out that way, so it's a good time for the All-Star break, even though we're in Minnesota with the snow and the cold."
Assistant Terry Porter took the reins in Adelman's stead and oversaw a fourth straight loss, in which the Timberwolves were outscored 25-11 in the fourth quarter after hanging with the Rockets through three.
The coach, of course, wasn't pleased, though.
"I was watching the game the other night, and it's a four-point game going into the fourth quarter, and I got a call from somebody, and I answered it and came back three minutes later and we're down 12," Adelman said. "Holy criminy."
The NBA's winningest active coach, Adelman is in charge of a squad that entered Wednesday's contest 24-28 and 6 ½ games back of the Western Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.
But he returned from his brief time away in a good enough mood to crack a joke when asked about his All-Star break plans.
"I'm not doing anything," the 67-year-old said with a dry, straight face. "I'm gonna sit here and watch the snow."
Perhaps a trip to Lake Mille Lacs with Pekovic, who spent the break ice fishing there last season?
"No, I'm not going ice fishing," Adelman said. "I hope he puts his foot in the water and helps it a little bit."
At least 2 more weeks for Martin: Martin spoke with the media for the first time since suffering his injury Friday at New Orleans. He'll be out at least two more weeks, then be re-evaluated before the team's five-game road trip.
The veteran shooting guard, averaging 19 points per game, hopes to be back in time for the first outing of that swing, a Feb. 22 matchup with Utah.
"Hopefully I'm OK to play," said Martin, the team's second-leading scorer behind All-Star starter Kevin Love. "I hate sitting out, so it's a tough time for me right now. But I'll support my teammates any way I can, and help the young guys through an NBA game, whatever advice they need."
Martin said he fractured the distal phalanx -- located just below the fingernail -- in his left thumb with 33.3 seconds to go at New Orleans Arena. Ricky Rubio smacked a jump ball off Corey Brewer's hand, and it caught Martin's thumb enough to crack a bone in the tip of it.
The Timberwolves had it examined Saturday at TRIA Orthopedics in Bloomington, Minn. The good news was the injury didn't require surgery.
Martin's been wearing a splint on the finger and has been told to stay away from all basketball-related activities. He disobeyed those orders Wednesday and tried to get some shots up, but "it didn't work," Martin said.
The Timberwolves are 1-3 without Martin this season. He missed two games earlier in the year before sitting out the last two because of the thumb injury.
They're 2-6 in the eight games Pekovic has missed and in grave danger of missing the playoffs for a 10th straight season.
"We're having our 'welcome to the NBA midseason' moment," Martin said. "We know what we're faced with right now. The reality is the NBA doesn't wait for anybody, so other guys have to step up."
All-Star experience: Pekovic plans to stick around and ice fish again, this time at Clearwater Lake. Martin's heading to Florida for a few days. Chase Budinger will go to Arizona, where he played college basketball.
They'll all recreate, rest and recharge.
If Love is to do the same, he'll have to get a little creative.
In addition to making his first All-Star start Sunday in New Orleans, Love will spend the next few days running around New Orleans shaking hands, posing for pictures and answering reporters' questions. After arriving Thursday and handling a series of digital interviews, he'll sign autographs at a local Wal-Mart. Friday, he'll navigate the annual All-Star media circuit and take part in the NBA Day of Service.
Saturday, he'll practice with the Western Conference All-Stars and compete in that night's 3-point shooting contest. Then comes the All-Star Game itself at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Adelman hopes his bruised, battered star player is able to sneak in some rest at some point.
"It can be exhausting, because you have a lot of people around, there's activities going on all the time," Adelman said. "If you go out, everybody recognizes you, and you're being drawn every which way. And you're trying to enjoy the experience, but it's still taxing."
To balance things out, Love said he plans to spend any down time that arises at his hotel with his family.
"I get rest," smiled Love, who played as a reserve in the 2011 and 2012 All-Star games. "I'm kind of a homebody."
Follow Phil Ervin on Twitter