Northwest Notes: Butler, Lyles, Neto, Jokic/Millsap

With four crucial games left in the regular season, Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler said he is “this close” to returning following practice on Tuesday, per Dave Campbell of The Associated Press. Minnesota’s next game is against the Nuggets on Thursday and it’s possible Butler will be available.

The Timberwolves have been without Butler since February 23, when he tore his meniscus and underwent surgery sidelining him for an estimated four-to-six weeks. In 56 games before the injury, Butler was arguably Minnesota’s best two-way asset as he played his usual strong defense while averaging 22.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 5.0 APG.

Just 2.5 games separate the seventh-place Timberwolves and the 10th-place Clippers with four games to go. Having a healthy Butler back in the lineup for this crucial stretch would provide a huge boost to the team’s playoff hopes.

Check out more Northwest Division notes below:

  • Former Jazz player Trey Lyles, now with the Nuggets, did not have many kind words about his former team. Jody Genessy of The Deseret News passes along some of Lyles’ comments, made during an appearance on teammate Richard Jefferson‘s Road Trippin’ Podcast. Lyles was critical of head coach Quin Snyder and expressed a general distaste for his tenure in Utah.
  • Jazz point guard Raul Neto has made significant progress on his fractured wrist, tweets Tony Jones of the Salt Lake City Tribune. No firm decision has been made, but it’s possible that Neto plays in tomorrow’s game against the Lakers, Jones adds.
  • Having both Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic in the lineup healthy and producing has been a tremendous boost for the Nuggets, Gina Mizell of the Denver Post writes. “They’re my safety blanket,” head coach Michael Malone said. “If one of those two are in the game at all times, we have somebody to play through and to kind of calm things down when they’re not going our way.”
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2 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Butler, Lyles, Neto, Jokic/Millsap

  1. the dude

    Trey is a Saskatchewan boy. Aside from hockey players it’s where Roddy Piper and Kim Coates (Tig Treager on Sons of Anarchy) were born, and where Brock Lesnar resides. That Mormon mentality that the Jazz subliminally have probably got to him.

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    • bravesfanforever

      Doubt that the Mormon comment had anything to do with what Trey Lyles thinks. He said he didn’t like Quin Snyder who I don’t think is a Mormon so that’s one thing. I don’t think Lyles is someone who thinks hard work translates into a championship. Talk to the legends Karl Malone and John Stockton about hard work and never ever complaining. I think there are a lot of people who just don’t like Salt Lake. The state is also rather isolated. There’s no much outside of the outside and other cities anywhere near Salt Lake. I personally like the city and I think the fans are great. They really support the Jazz. I agree with these cities that aren’t so great: Detroit, Memphis, Milwaukee and Sacramento. GO JAZZ !!

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