Shootaround: vs. Timberwolves
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Updates from shootaround heading into Friday night’s Western Conference home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves:
• Short term, Anthony Davis will continue to come off the bench, according to Monty Williams. “For now we will,” Williams said of the decision, “just to ease him back into playing. He’s on a bit of a minute restriction, even though I think it’s his normal minute allotment. I’m going to keep him in that position for now. We may change it on this road trip.” The Hornets play at Portland on Sunday, followed by away games against Golden State, the Clippers and San Antonio.
• Williams’ scouting report on the Timberwolves: “Kevin Love (obviously) does a really good job of spacing the floor and offensive rebounding. The guy that really gives you a lot of trouble is (Nikola) Pekovic. His ability to run the floor and his duck-ins are as good as anybody in the league. (Luke) Ridnour is underrated and really knows how to run a team. The new kid (Alexey) Shved, is really good off the dribble, can shoot the ball and is like a third point guard. Dante Cunningham, you don’t think about him (when you think of the Timberwolves), but his pressure after makes (is important). Love, you really want to keep him off the glass. (Andrei) Kirilenko still makes plays. (J.J.) Barea attacking the basket and timely threes. It’s a really good team – and they’re missing a couple guys.”
• Ryan Anderson on the narrow loss at Oklahoma City, a game many around the NBA did not expect would be close: “We had a chance to win that game. We played with a lot of effort, and that’s kind of what we’ve been (emphasizing) every day in practice and before games. We just need to bring more effort and energy, and just set the tone. As long as we stick to those principles and play smart – we played smart last game, for the most part – we’ll be great. It will be tough for teams to beat us when we play hard like that.”
• Anderson on playing against Love, a somewhat similar player in terms of shooting and rebounding skill: “We have a little bit of history, playing against each other in college (in the Pac-10). He’s a great player. He’s really made a name for himself. I’ve guarded him a lot. It’s always a challenge, but I’m always up for a challenge.”