NEW YORK – After a scary fall toward the end of Wednesday's loss to the Wizards, Karl-Anthony Towns said he was feeling better than he would have thought after that game.
But he also cautioned he might not be available to play in Friday's game against Brooklyn.
Towns was a game-time decision entering the night and ended up sitting out in the 110-105 loss to the Nets because of the tailbone/back injury he suffered when he appeared to lose his grip on the rim in the fourth quarter Wednesday.
Towns participated in Friday's shootaround with coach Chris Finch saying it was going to be Towns' call whether or not he played.
"It's a different level of moving," Finch said.
Friday was the first game Towns missed this season. The Wolves have two days off after Friday before playing Atlanta at home on Monday. The Wolves were also without Jaden McDaniels, who missed his third consecutive game because of a flu-like illness that has been going around the team. Others who were on the injury report because of the flu, like Anthony Edwards, Jarred Vanderbilt and Jaylen Nowell, were healthy enough to play.
"We still have a bunch of other guys who hopefully haven't been sick and won't be sick," Finch said.
Looking long term
Finch was asked before Friday's game if the Wolves had any goals when it came to reaching the playoffs or play-in tournament this season, especially given the Wolves have started the season at .500 through their first 22 games.
Finch said being a play-in team or a playoff team were "very realistic goals for us to mark."
"We're not afraid of saying we want to be those teams that play meaningful games at the end of the season," Finch said.
The Wolves have a realistic chance to at least be among the play-in teams from the No. 7 to 10 seed because they have separated themselves early on from the five teams they'd likely need to beat out for that spot — Sacramento, New Orleans, Houston, Oklahoma City and San Antonio. Then, Finch said, anything could happen even if the Wolves end up at least with the No. 10 seed.
"I know there is somewhat of a difference, but seven, eight, nine and 10, what is really the difference?" Finch said. "When you're in that band of teams, you can win almost every single night. But we got a long way to go before we can feel sure that we're that type of team. But early returns are good and the flavor of the team is pretty good."
Prince running with ones
Because of various absences of late, Finch has elevated Taurean Prince back to the starting lineup. Prince started his fourth consecutive game Friday.
Before the season Finch said the Wolves' style of play was a good fit for Prince, and more than a quarter into the season Finch said Prince is "in a good spot."
Prince, who played in Brooklyn for two seasons, got off to a slow start shooting (26% from three-point range), but Finch has liked other facets of his game.
"He's a utility infielder," Finch said. "That's what we know we were getting. A guy that can play a lot of different things and be pretty good at all those things. His leadership has been great. His approach has been great."