Wolves Wednesday: Chase Budinger recovering slowly but surely
MINNEAPOLIS — The Timberwolves brought some good news back with them from Detroit on Tuesday — and not just a lopsided 121-94 win.
Injured small forward Chase Budinger made his first road trip with the team since re-damaging the meniscus in his left knee before the season. Budinger, who re-signed with Minnesota this offseason as an unrestricted free agent, hasn’t been cleared to practice at full capacity yet but continues to chug along in his recovery from his second knee operation in the past calendar year.
Coach Rick Adelman said before Wednesday’s game against Philadelphia that Budinger may be able to practice “in the next couple of weeks.”
Ronny Turiaf’s status is a little bleaker.
The reserve center hasn’t played since going down with a fractured right elbow against Oklahoma City in the Timberwolves’ second game of the season. No official timetable has been released for his return — nor for Budinger — but things aren’t progressing as quickly as hoped.
“I think it’s just healing a lot slower than they anticipated,” Adelman said of Turiaf’s elbow. “It’s just a slower process than the doctors thought and he thought. He’s getting better, but I think it’ll be a while yet.”
Guard Michael Carter-Williams traveled to Minneapolis with the 76ers but missed a fourth consecutive game while recovering from a right knee infection. The rookie is averaging 17.7 points and 7.3 assists per game.
Shved-by-step: It wasn’t overwhelming, but Alexey Shved appeared to take a stride in the right direction Tuesday.
The struggling backup guard came off the bench early against Detroit and finished with three assists in a little more than 17 minutes. He didn’t make a shot, but Adelman said the Russian sophomore exhibited a little more control than normal.
That’s been the biggest hurdle for Shved, who’s shooting 20.8 percent from the floor and 13 percent from 3-point range.
“I think what he can do is he can really attack,” Adelman said. “But he’s got to do it after we move the ball a little bit. You just can’t come down and attack the set defense every time down.”
Usually a second-quarter reserve, Shved entered at the first quarter’s 5:47 mark when starting shooting guard Kevin Martin exited briefly with some knee soreness (he was fine Wednesday, Adelman said). Shved received some time with the Timberwolves’ starters, something Adelman said could be good for him as he tries to get over the early season hump.
“Hopefully, it’ll be a good start for him,” Adelman said. “He’s got to play with fire, and if he does, he can help us.”
Brown finds a home: Lorenzo Brown was back in Minnesota Wednesday for the first time since training camp, suiting up for Philadelphia after the 76ers signed him as a free agent.
The Timberwolves drafted Brown 52nd overall in this summer’s drafted and waived him after training camp. He originally signed with Minnesota’s NBA Developmental League affiliate, the Iowa Energy, and was traded to the Springfield Armor.
The North Carolina State-bred point guard made his 10th NBA appearance Wednesday and had six assists and four points in a season-high 19 minutes, 17 seconds of action
For the season, Brown averages 2.6 points, 1.1 assists and 7.7 minutes per game.