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Timberwolves Notes: Muhammad Injured, Pekovic, Martin Practice

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A mix of good news and bad news in today's Timberwolves notes

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Because it's Wolves, of course there is some bad news:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Officially on Shabazz Muhammad’s injury, an MRI on his abdominal revealed an outer oblique strain. He will be reevaluated in two weeks.</p>&mdash; MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) <a href="https://twitter.com/MNTimberwolves/status/554732676872437760">January 12, 2015</a></blockquote>

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At least two weeks on the sidelines for Muhammad, which is hugely disappointing for him as he tries to settle in as a significant contributor. It's also disappointing for us, as he's been one of the few guys more or less consistently fun to watch.

Better news is that both Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin participated fully in practice yesterday, and appear to be close to returning. Ricky Rubio practiced as well but did not take part in anything involving contact.

Some audio and video from yesterday on the Wolves site can be found here.

Pek and Martin will not play tonight in Indiana, as Saunders said he wants them to get a few practices in. He mentioned their two scheduled practices in Phoenix on this road trip as an opportunity for them, and we might see either or both soon after that.

Meanwhile, the Wolves are in Indiana to face the Pacers tonight. This is an early start--6 pm tip-off.

The Pacers are struggling at 15-24, one spot out of the playoffs in the East, and have also been decimated by injuries, notably to Paul George and George Hill, Still, they remain a top 10 defensive team, but they haven't been able to score at all, ranking 28th in offense. They are coming off a brutal loss to the 76ers on Saturday night.

These are two teams that can't shoot it straight; both near the bottom of the league in efg%; the difference is that the Pacers actually stop their opponents from getting open looks, while the Wolves continue to resemble a lay-up drill on defense.

In the first meeting of these teams, Roy Hibbert was effective inside, and C.J. Miles came off the bench for the MPE--28 points on 10-18 from the floor, and the Pacers outlasted the Wolves at Target Center 100-96.  The Pacers loaded up on Muhammad, who had been red hot prior, though he still managed 21 on 8-18 from the floor. They also shut down Andrew Wiggins, who went 2-8 and scored 5 points in 31 minutes. This was the last game of an ugly stretch for Wiggins before he exploded in Cleveland the following game.

Mo Williams (24 and 10) and Chase Budinger (13 points on 6-10 shooting) got the Wolves back into that first game in Target Center, but they were unable to climb all the way back after a poor first half.

No Shabazz tonight, so no doubt the Pacers will be concentrating on limiting Wiggins' looks; will be a good challenge for him to see what he can get against a good defense that will likely be geared to stop him, especially one with a guy like Roy Hibbert underneath to protect the rim.

Today in History

888: Odo, Count of Paris, becomes King of the Franks. I just like the name Odo.
1559: Elizabeth I crowned queen in Westminster Abbey
1610: Gallileo discovers a 4th moon of Jupiter
1695: Jonathan Swift ordained an Anglican Priest in Ireland
1733: James Oglethorpe (and others) arrive at Charleston, SC
1830: Great Fire in New Orleans
1888: National Geographic Society founded 
1895: Oscar Wilde's "Ideal Husband" premieres in London
1898: Emile Zola's letter "J'accuse" in defense of Alfred Dryfus is published
1930: Mickey Mouse comic strip first appears
1943: Hitler declares "Total War"
1953: Tito becomes president of Yugoslavia

Today's musical birthday is Sophie Tucker, aka "The Last of the Red Hot Mamas", born in 1887 (d. 1966).

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Tuesday.