Practice Report | March 13, 2014
The Wolves are set to go up against one of the best offensive post players in the league tomorrow night, and it’s a player that Kevin Love is very familiar with.
Al Jefferson was with the Wolves from 2007-2010.
He was teammates with a young Love and while the Wolves are set at the center position with Nikola Pekovic, Love has wondered what things would be like if Big Al were still in town.
“That (Jefferson going to the Utah Jazz) opened a lot for me and allowed my game to grow,” Love said after practice at the LifeTime Fitness facility on Thursday. “It’s tough to say, but of course. I would have loved to see my maturation and growth of my game mixed with his but it just didn’t happen that way.”
Jefferson is on a tear, averaging 22.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.6 percent from the field. He’s scored 26 or more points in five of his last six games. More importantly for Jefferson, though, is that he’s on pace to lead the Bobcats to their first playoff appearance since the 2009-10 season. It will also be Jefferson’s third postseason appearance.
“Everyone knows what he’s capable of. People ask me who’s the toughest guy to go against, when it comes to the post, it’s Al,” Love said. “He still has the best post moves in the game, probably the hardest to stop still. In my opinion on the block, he’s one of the best if not the best player scoring down there.”
Love hopes those post moves aren’t on display too often tomorrow night.
The Wolves have allowed 101 or more points in five straight games. That’s something that has likely kept head coach Rick Adelman up at night, since he’s not on Facebook for hours like the rest of us (more on this later).
Minnesota worked on tightening things up today at practice.
“We knew Milwaukee was going to give us problems because they’ve been scoring a lot more points and they play small,” Adelman said. “…Charlotte is a much more difficult team, because they can shoot it but they also have that big guy inside. It’s a problem for us, but it’s been that way all year.”
If there’s any good news, it’s that the Bobcats are averaging just 95.6 points per game, ranking 25th in the league. Stopping Jefferson will likely be the team’s main concern, but Kemba Walker has turned into a very good point guard as well.
“You know, I know it was kind of tough for him being in Milwaukee but he had played there before, enjoyed the city,” Love said. “But you know in talking to him, I know he’s glad to be part of a playoff time.”
“Honestly, I wouldn’t know how to describe it but the fact that it hurts. It hurts when I bend my leg, it hurts when I drive, it hurts,” Turiaf said. “Just imagine having pain inside of your knee that you’re waiting for it to heal. I don’t know how else to describe it.”
“ I don’t know where people get the time to do it.”
Let the campaign begin.