Kevin Love, Wesley Johnson back at Wolves practice, should play Monday
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Both players have been nursing ankle injuries, but they were on the practice court for the final 10 minutes of practice the media was allowed to watch and should be available for Monday's regular-season opener against Oklahoma City.
Coach Rick Adelman confirmed Love and Johnson participated in practice, along with point guards Ricky Rubio (ankle) and J.J. Barea (bruised thigh), who returned on Thursday after an extended absence that included the Wolves' preseason win in Milwaukee on Wednesday night.
Center Nikola Pekovic missed his second consecutive session with a strained groin. But in the grand scheme of things, Pekovic isn't nearly the loss the others would have been if he can't play against the Thunder.
Adelman declined to discuss his starting lineup. However, speculation is that if Rubio's healthy -- and he says he is -- the rookie will be the starting point guard, much to the delight of the capacity crowd at Target Center.
As of Friday afternoon, about 800 tickets remained and it is expected to be the first home opener to sell out at Target Center since the 2007-08 season.
"(Rubio) is going to play," Adelman said. "We can't bring him out slowly" despite a tough match-up with NBA All Star Russell Westbrook.
Adelman said the Wolves have been hard at work the last two practices getting ready for the Thunder and they will focus more on them Saturday before the players are given Christmas day off.
"I've talked about the turnovers with our team -- it is really crucial against that team," Adelman said. "If you turn the ball over against them, they get out and they get really big spurts, so you have to take care of the ball."
The Wolves announced after Friday's practice they have waived veteran Bonzi Wells and in doing so got their roster down to the allotted 15 players.
Wells was given a training camp contract -- the only contract on the team not fully guaranteed -- and was given a chance to showcase what he has left in his 10-year veteran body.
Wells averaged 1.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 12.5 minutes in both preseason victories over the Bucks. He was a long shot to make a roster that already had 15 guaranteed contracts and hoped to put some tape together to maybe latch on with another team after spending the last two seasons playing in China and Puerto Rico.
• There is still no timetable for when G Martell Webster (back) will return, but Adelman thinks he can have a positive impact once he does make it back on the court. "He's always been a really solid player in this league," Adelman said. "If we get him back and he is healthy he is just really going to help us. He defends well and shoots the ball and when that time comes we will deal with it."
• Adelman again hinted on Friday that C Darko Milicic might just be used as a situational player in certain match-ups that call for the big man. It appears Adelman likes the lineup in which Love plays center and rookie Derrick Williams and Michael Beasley play the forwards.
• Adelman also said he sees Johnson playing both shooting guard and small forward in various situations on the court. He said he is impressed with Johnson's training camp and expects him to be on the court in a couple different spots.