Fans who haven’t witnessed a Minnesota Timberwolves playoff appearance in 13 seasons lined the rails around the four-story rotunda at the Mall of America for Jimmy Butler’s introductory news conference Thursday, welcoming the All-Star small forward and the hope he represents for the franchise.
“Our expectations are going to be to win,” said Butler, who joins recent No. 1 overall picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to form a talented trio after the Timberwolves acquired him in a blockbuster draft-night deal with the Chicago Bulls. “That’s why they brought me here. These young guys are really, really, really talented. I’m just here to push them to the best of their ability.”
Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN
Jimmy Butler (Knee) Sits Out T-Wolves Win Over Raptors
Jimmy Butler sat out Minnesota’s 115-109 victory Saturday night against Toronto with a sore right knee.
Butler is averaging 21.7 points per game for the revamped Timberwolves, who entered with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. Minnesota had lost two straight before hosting the Raptors. Nemanja Bjelica started in Butler’s place.
Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Set to Return From Shoulder Injury
Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving went through the team’s entire off-day practice Saturday and expects to return to game action Sunday against the Orlando Magic after missing one game due to a sore shoulder.
Irving sat out Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers after undergoing tests on a shoulder that had been bothering him recently. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but Irving will continue getting treatment even as he returns to game action.
Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN
LeBron After Loss to OKC: We Can Get Bounced Early in Playoffs
Following one of the most inept defensive performances in Cavaliers history, LeBron James said his team looked primed for a short postseason appearance, barring any changes.
The Cavs fell 148-124 to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, tying a franchise record for most points allowed in regulation. They are 3-9 since Christmas Day. “Playoffs? We can’t even start thinking about that, not the way we’re playing right now,” James said. “We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs if they started next weekend. Haven’t even began thinking about the postseason.”
Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN