Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New Jersey

Poor Timberwolves. Last season the young squad lost star center Al Jefferson to a torn Achilles tendon and finished with a dismal 24-58 record, making them better than only Oklahoma City in their division (by one measly game). Then in the offseason they drafted Spanish wunderkind Ricky Rubio. That was all for naught, at least for two more years, as getting Rubio out of his Spanish league contract has proved too difficult. But new Timberwolves president David Kahn at least gets an A for effort; he traveled to Spain twice to work with Rubio and his agent. Still, with Jefferson recovered from ACL surgery, this season is looking to be at least a little better than last year's disaster. Well, maybe not. The Wolves' young center Kevin Love broke his left hand during preseason action, so he will be out for several weeks. But that's not all. Jefferson has recently missed practice due to soreness in his Achilles tendon. So, to recap: Hot-shot draft pick is blowing away the competition across the pond, Love is out with a busted hand, and Jefferson is iffy at best. Yes, the Timberwolves' 21st season is looking like it will be a challenging one for fans and new head coach Kurt Rambis.
Wed., Oct. 28, 7 p.m., 2009

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