Injury problems for the Minnesota Timberwolves could not have come at a worse time as the team makes a final push for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.
After losing star guard Zach LaVine shortly prior to the All-Star break due to a torn ACL, the Wolves have been hit by further injuries of late. Forward Nemanja Bjelica is also now going to miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury and Lance Stephenson, who is currently nearing the end of his second 10-day contract with the team, is also on the shelf with an ankle problem.
Prior to their game against the Miami Heat on Friday night, head coach Tom Thibodeau spoke to Jerry Zgoda of Star Tribune and said that he believed that despite the injuries, the team had enough warm bodies.
“We feel we have more than enough to win with. So the next guy has to get in there and get the job done,” said the coach.
Thibodeau added though that the team was open to adding another player especially since Stephenson’s contract is set to expire, freeing up another roster spot.
“We’re just looking at where we are and who’s available,” Coach Thibs said. “With Pek being out, too, you’re down roster spots. You want to be sure you have enough bodies just so you’re able to practice and handle foul trouble and things like that.”
Although he initially appeared to be a bit tentative, his impetus may have changed after the red-hot Heat handed the Wolves their second straight loss at the American Airlines Arena.
With his team five games outside the playoff picture and just 14 games remaining on the calendar, the 59-year-old coach will need to make a decision. Will he choose to add another player to his roster to improve their dwindling chances of making it to the postseason, or will he opt to raise the white flag and just make do with what he currently has at his disposal?