Practice Report | Nov. 18, 2013

Practice Report | Nov. 18, 2013

Talk about a busy month.

When November ends, the Wolves will have played 18 games, which is the most before December in team history. On Tuesday at Washington, the team will start its second stretch of five games in seven days of the season.

More games means less practice. Fortunately for the Wolves, they were able to sneak in a practice before taking off to Washington on Monday at the Target Center.

“It’s important, but we also got to get our rest,” point guard J.J. Barea said. “A lot of games coming up here, it’s going to be a big week for us, but we’ll see how it goes.”

The tough schedule has plenty of tough teams in it as well. This week, the Wolves play on the road against Washington, before heading home to play the Clippers (Wednesday) and Nets (Friday). After that, the Wolves will head to Houston to play their fifth back-to-back of the season.

“It’s just one of those things, you know… You can’t do anything about it,” said Wolves head coach Rick Adelman about the hectic schedule. “You see why we are one of the most traveled teams in the league because we have these one game back-to-backs at home, away—away and home, and the travel, it adds up after a while.”

Adelman noted that his bench play has improved recently, but with plenty of minutes to go around throughout the next few days, there could be some room for other players to get involved.

“I’m sure this week we’ll have the opportunity to get other people in because we’re going to need them,” Adelman said.

Washington Is Desperate For A Win
While the Wolves have turned heads around the league, so have the Wizards… Just for different reasons.

Washington (2-7) was expected to fight for an Eastern Conference playoff spot this season, but instead, the Wizards find themselves on bottom of the Southeast Division.

The Wizards have lost four straight games. Three of those games have been on the road, but Washington has led in the fourth quarter of two of those games. They just haven’t been able to close things out.

With young stars like John Wall and Bradley Beal, Adelman thinks the Wizards will turn it around eventually. He just hopes it isn’t against his squad.

“Wall is really quick. Beal’s really playing well. Martell (Webster) is playing well, shooting the ball,” Adelman said. “That’s what I mean, a lot of their guys are playing well, they just haven’t been able to finish anything.”

The game also marks the return of General Manager Milt Newton and President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders to Washington, if they decide to make the trip. Newton was Washington’s Vice President of Player Personnel from 2003 before being hired by Minnesota. Saunders coached the Wizards from 2009-2012.

Quick Hits

  • With the major focus on the return of Chase Budinger on Monday, there was some other noteworthy news from two other Timberwolves. Rookie Shabazz Muhammad, who suffered a sprained ankle out in Los Angeles, was on the floor running with the team. Adelman said while he wasn’t able to make all of the cuts he normally does, he was able to participate in everything at practice. Adelman said there still isn’t any timetable on center Ronny Turiaf, who is out with a right elbow injury.

  • The Wolves play host to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. The Nets, of course, made some splashy news in hiring Jason Kidd as their head coach. Kidd went from sneakers to a suit in a hurry, as he played in the playoffs last season with the New York Knicks. Barea, who played with Kidd in Dallas from 2008-11, wasn’t surprised that Kidd made the leap to head coach, but was a little caught off guard on how quickly it happened.

    “I knew he was going to be a coach, he kept talking about it and stuff, I didn’t know it was going to happen that quick,” Barea said. “But, I’m happy for him, he’s a great player that helped me out a lot, but I didn’t know it was going to happen that quick. It’s a little strange to see him coach already.”

    The Wolves host the Nets at 7 p.m. Friday. It marks the return of Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko to the Target Center.

  • Budinger has a Fu Manchu mustache going right now. That seems like a good way to wrap up today’s report.

  • For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.