Before the Timberwolves left for Indiana on Tuesday they took care of an important bit of business — getting COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Wolves partnered with Hy-Vee to provide vaccinations to players, coaches and staff before their trip to Indianapolis. Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns were among those who posted about getting their shots to social media afterward.
"It's really exciting and important for our organization, society as a whole to take these steps to protect ourselves and each other and doing our part in trying to control what at times seems like the uncontrollable," coach Chris Finch said.
The Wolves said they couldn't comment on which vaccines were administered, though Towns posted about getting "shot 1," which would indicate he received either Pfizer or Moderna.
Finch said the team was monitoring how players were feeling after getting their shots, since there could be side effects associated with the vaccines that last a day or a few days.
Finch said he considered getting his vaccine almost like a "civic duty."
"I would've done it a long time ago had it been available. Personally I view it as almost a part of my civic duty," Finch said. "Doesn't mean my behavior all of a sudden can become reckless, but it gives us more confidence, particularly when we're always in a group setting and we're trying to mitigate all the contact points. In general, we need to take that step forward to getting our building back to normal and this will allow us to take steps towards that."
He also said getting the vaccine was a way to thank front-line workers and the scientists who poured in countless hours to develop the vaccines.
"I look at it as my way to honor the many, many people who went into the treatment, handling and research and the ability to deliver such an incredible — really it's a medical miracle to deliver such a vaccine in such a quick amount of time," Finch said. "And it's my personal honor to them for all they've done throughout these incredibly trying and courageous times."
Russell sub for now
In his first game back from left knee surgery, D'Angelo Russell came off the bench Monday. That remained the same Wednesday and Russell was still on a planned minutes restriction, Finch said. The restriction had Russell scheduled to play around 25 minutes.
"You always try to leave yourself a little fat on the bone if need be," Finch said. "But we're not going to push anything unnecessarily right now."
Finch said he would like to have Russell available to close games, so he would rather keep Russell on the bench to start and then use him more regularly throughout the game as he otherwise might. Finch said Russell has been OK with that plan.
"He's been great ..." Finch said. "He's not worried about [not starting]. It doesn't affect his role, his overall minutes. The truth be told, if you want to close the game with him you pretty much have to save those minutes up front. Otherwise, he sits for a really long time and we don't want that either."