MINNEAPOLIS Bill Bayno has ice taped to his back. Shawn Respert, sweating, jogging, in his warmups, is looking more like a player than anything else. And Terry Porter, in his suit, in front of the cameras, is running the show.
This is the state of the Timberwolves these days. There are too few players to practice and the coaches are too young not to jump in, even if their 40- and 50-year-old muscles aren't quite up to the task. That's what Porter has inherited for the past two weeks, with things going from bad to worse, shorthanded to downright untenable.
Porter has been here before. He's been a head coach for the good part of three seasons, leading one Milwaukee team in 2004 to the playoffs and coaching another Phoenix squad to a 28-23 record in 2008-09 before being puzzlingly fired. But he's never been here quite like this, on such short notice, with so little preparation and so vague a sense of control when injuries make control a very relative concept.