Practice Report | Dec. 6, 2013
Practice Report | Dec. 6, 2013
The buzz at practice on Friday at the Target Center was a little louder than normal.
That has a lot to do with the Wolves hosting the two-time defending champions at the Target Center on Saturday night.
The Wolves might be catching the Miami Heat at the right time as Miami has dropped two straight road games to the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls, respectively.
Target Center should be rocking, and for good reason, with players like Kevin Love, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the rosters of both squads. Oh yeah, and that one LeBron James guy. All four players are current or former Team USA teammates. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that only two of those four players will be on the court. Wade has missed the last two games due to illness and has been battling knee issues for the last two seasons.
The unfortunate news that Love’s maternal grandmother passed away on Wednesday night leaves the power forward’s status on Saturday uncertain.
“I wouldn’t think he’d be able to play tomorrow,” said assistant coach Terry Porter. “I don’t think he’s probably going to be back… Pretty sure it would be tough for him to get back.”
If Love isn’t able to go, expect Dante Cunningham or Luc Mbah a Moute to start in his place. Whether or not Love will play or not will be a big factor, but another big factor will be the Wolves and whether or not they can stop James. Likely, the MVP will be guarded by Corey Brewer or Mbah a Moute.
UPDATE (3:42 p.m.): Flip Saunders has confirmed Love will not play on Saturday.
Brewer knows there isn’t an exact recipe to stop James.
“LeBron James, you know he’s tough… Gotta make him take jump shots and contest him,” Brewer said. “Gotta make it tough, that’s all you can do.”
With the high-flying Heat in town, the Wolves are anticipating a very large crowd, but tickets are still available. For fans looking to pick up tickets from Will Call or those purchasing tickets, they are urged to get to the arena as early as possible on Saturday.
The End To A Wild Week
Talk about a crazy week for the Wolves. Minnesota had the chance to go to Mexico City on Monday and spent the majority of the week interacting with fans, hosting clinics and becoming acquainted with Mexico City as part of the league’s international initiative.
The Wolves were scheduled to play Spurs on Wednesday and they got smoked…
No, literally, the game was smoked out after there was a generator malfunction. While the NBA would have loved to get this game in, there were a few positives out of the situation. The Wolves did get to spend a good part of a week in warm weather, while getting five days off to rest their bodies. Those five days were needed, especially after playing 17 games in the month of November.
“Obviously for the players, you get a chance to go out for dinner, go out, just hang out, obviously not on the court,” Porter said.
Porter also noted that road trips are essential for any team to bond and grow together, but at the end of the day, the Wolves would have like to gotten a game in.
The game has been rescheduled to be played in Minneapolis later this season, unfortunately, the Mexico City fans won’t get the chance to see the Wolves and Spurs.
“We feel bad because we felt the energy from the fans, from everybody that put in a great effort to make that happen,” Ricky Rubio said.
After the Wolves had to handle the smoke, they now have to handle the Heat. Funny how things work.
“You know, just getting to know the guys, getting to know the spots on the floor, getting to know the system itself, you know, all the cuts,” Mbah a Moute said. “… It’s still basketball at the end of the day.”
Ronny Turiaf (elbow) and Chase Budinger (knee) were both seen on the court. Budinger looked more mobile and was seen shooting some jumpers with Rubio. The two were the last players to leave the court. Budinger also did throw down at least one dunk after walking up to the hoop and throwing down with a standing leap. Turiaf, as always, had his pants tucked into his socks, but was not seen doing any basketball activities.
“We know we can attack them on rebounding,” Rubio said. “They’ve lost the last two games, and that’s where they hurt them. But we know they can run, they can run and they can fly, so we’re going to have to be ready to come back.”