So far as sports parables go, Darko Milicic might be the new Wally Pipp. Milicic has missed the last four games due to a bruised left quadricep and sprained right ankle, but the T-Wolves have only been better in his absence. Backup center Nikola Pekovic is on a tear.
Pekovic is averaging 17.3 points and 9.8 rebounds and shooting 67.6 percent from the floor the past six games. It's been enough to resign Darko to the fact that when he returns, he won't get his starting spot back.
"He deserves to play," Milicic said. "He's playing in a great rhythm right now. I'm happy for him."
Whether Darko is starting or coming off the bench, Minnesota could use him tonight versus Dwight Howard, who has 22 double-doubles already this season. Only the Timberwolves' Kevin Love, with 24, has more.