Payne was held scoreless (0-6 FG, 0-1 3Pt) in his start at power forward Wednesday against the Magic. He added five rebounds and an assist over 16 minutes. Payne replaced the resting Kevin Garnett in the Wolves' starting five, but as expected, it was reserves Gorgui Dieng (21 minutes) and Nemanja Bjelica (19 minutes) that saw the larger shares of playing time in the frontcourt. With Garnett expected back in the lineup for Friday's game against the Pistons, Payne will more than likely return to a bench role and see very light usage.
Payne will get the start Wednesday night in place of Kevin Garnett (rest), Jerry Zgoda of Star Tribune reports. Garnett will rest on the second night of a back-to-back, and the Wolves will go with Payne in his place. The second-year forward out of Michigan State is coming off of an eight-point, four-rebound performance in 17 minutes against Miami on Tuesday. While he could see a mild minutes boost, Gorgui Dieng and Karl-Anthony Towns are more likely to see increased run to compensate for Garnett's absence.
Payne will return to a bench role after starting Tuesday against the Hornets. Payne started due to Kevin Garnett sitting out for rest purposes, so his return to a bench role is not at all surprising. Payne normally doesn't play much for Minnesota and he'll likely not see much time against the Warriors on Thursday.
Payne entered the starting lineup ahead of Tuesday's tipoff against the Hornets. Minnesota dealt with several last-minute absences ahead of Tuesday's game which ultimately lead to the rare start for Payne. Assuming that Kevin Garnett (rest) will return Thursday against the Warriors, Payne's stint in the starting five may be very brief.
Payne scored nine points with six rebounds in 13 minutes in Thursday's lopsided loss to Miami. Payne was a healthy scratch in Minnesota's first three games and only got playing time when Minnesota fell far behind early. He's not going to get off the bench unless the game is a blowout or unless there are several injuries in Minnesota's front court.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||32||91||41.4||1||11.1||30||65.2||213||6.66||13|