Sixers, Timberwolves start second portion of season

The Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves both had playoff expectations before the season, but injuries have robbed both of realistic chances.

The two will meet Wednesday night in Minneapolis to start a push for whatever faint chance either has at the postseason.

You can't really blame these team's for underachieving.

The Sixers made a huge splash in the offseason, moving Andre Iguodala, Nikola Vucevic and Mo Harkless to land Andrew Bynum. The All-Star center hasn't played a minute yet this season with knee problems and that isn't likely to change anytime in the near future.

"He's still where he's been, so there's nothing that's changed with that," said Sixers coach Doug Collins. "The question is just going to be at some point and time with him getting out there and right now he's not done anything with contact."

Forward Thaddeus Young is working to a return and could be back in the lineup Sunday at the New York Knicks.

The Sixers did sign Jeremy Pargo for the remainder of the season to back up All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday, who had six points in his All-Star Game debut.

Philly lost two in a row before the break and has 19 of its remaining 31 games on the road.

The Timberwolves have been hit by the injury bug worse than the Sixers. Their main man, Kevin Love, has played in only 18 games this season with a twice- broken hand.

Malcolm Lee is done for the season. Chase Budinger and Brandon Roy are out indefinitely. Andrei Kirilenko has sat out the past four with a strained right quadriceps. Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio, Alexey Shved and J.J. Barea have missed significant action.

Luke Ridnour is the only player to see action in all 50 games.

"It's a little tough on all of us," said Derrick Williams, the second pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, who was considered a bust until all of these injuries forced him into the lineup.

Minnesota is 5-18 in 2013 and hasn't won consecutive games since a four-game streak from Dec. 7-15. The Wolves lost five of six heading into the break and have dropped four in a row at home.

The Timberwolves have won two in a row against the Sixers, including a 105-88 drubbing on Dec. 4 in Philadelphia. On that night, Minnesota shot 52 percent from the 3-point line, which was something of a surprise since the T'Wolves are the worst long-distance shooting team in the league at 30.1 percent.