There a number of statements that stand on their own as evidence that the Minnesota Timberwolves have been devastated by injuries in the 2012 season. Here is the most recent one:
The Timberwolves have signed Lazar Hayward.
Here are a few lightning quick points about Hayward: the Timberwolves drafted him in 2010 and his tenure with the team was disappointing to say the least. He then kicked around the league for a period of time before recently agreeing to a spot in the developmental league. Also, he sees spirits. Now he is back with the Timberwolves.
To recap: Minnesota is in such dire need of help on the wing after season-ending injuries to Malcolm Lee and Josh Howard that they added a former player who was on his way to the D League. Also, he sees spirits.
The problems with injuries extend further: the players returning from injury are struggling with either re-injury or ineffectiveness. Ricky Rubio's knee has not given him trouble since his return but he has missed a series of games with back spasms. Kevin Love is struggling mightily shooting the ball and has also sprinkled in missed games with miscellaneous injuries and ailments (though none of that stopped him from running his mouth). Brandon Roy's knees are Brandon Roy's knees; he is not retiring yet, but he does not know any more now about what to do than he did before.
And yet, despite all of those troubles and the uncertainties with the roster that followed, the Timberwolves are playing .500 basketball. Entering tonight's game with the Utah Jazz the team had a 14-13 record. With a consistent commitment to team defense, the emergence of young Alexey Shved, and steady play from the likes of Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic, Rick Adelman's squad has somehow weathered the storm and stayed afloat in the Western Conference.
That's the good news. Now comes the bad news. The Timberwolves are headed to a stretch of games where they will have significantly fewer days off. In the next three weeks they play 10 games, including three back-to-backs.
With that being the case, the Timberwolves eventually need this rash of injuries to stop. They have been able to sustain a respectable record so far, but whether they can continue to do so with the likes of players like Hayward might be another story.