Timberwolves coaching staff had COVID-19 related absences, too

The Timberwolves’ battle with COVID-19 in the weeks around the New Year were well documented — well, the player absences, anyway. Minnesota spent time playing without Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, Patrick Beverley, D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and more.

At one time, the Wolves were legitimately without their entire starting five as end-of-the-bench players and hardship signees had to carry Minnesota through a difficult stretch.

But Minnesota has experienced similar issues on its coaching staff, as well. While head coach Chris Finch has managed to stay COVID-free, Minnesota was without defensive coordinator Elston Turner and strategy guru Micah Nori — among others — for a stretch of games, and is currently sans offensive coordinator Pablo Prigioni, as well as a video coordinator.

Player development coach Kevin Burleson only returned to the fold Saturday.

Being short-handed has meant the Wolves coaching staff has had to be adaptable, shifting responsibilities and covering gaps.

“Our coaching staff has done a great job covering for each other,” Finch said. “It’s been, I know, a lot of work on guys getting ready for games and covering these guys’ needs, but we’ve done a really good job. We had a pretty flexible setup here, so we’ve been able to adapt.”

Members of the staff take turns doing the advanced scouts on upcoming opponents. When someone who was set to present on gameday was out, someone else would peruse the presentation and deliver it instead. When he was…

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