Practice Report | Nov. 29, 2013

by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Practice Report | Nov. 29, 2013

The Timberwolves haven’t had a traditional practice for more than a week, and for the most part this month back-to-backs and a somewhat rigorous travel schedule has kept Minnesota from really digging in with their workouts. On Friday, the Wolves dug deep on a getaway day—watching film and getting back to basics on the heels of a disappointing 117-110 home loss to Denver on Wednesday.

There was definite frustration in the postgame locker room on Wednesday, but that gave way to a more focused approach on Friday. The Wolves understand they’re going through a tough stretch having lost three straight and five of six, but more importantly there are four difficult games coming up that will test the Wolves each night.

“It was one of those times in the year, you know, teams go through,” guard Kevin Martin said. “We did a lot of defensive stuff today and also mixed in a little offense. Our defense is our weakness now, so we have to turn it around there.”

Coach Rick Adelman said the Wolves have responded all year long and he expects the same showing moving forward this week. But Minnesota will need to battle through back-to-backs on the road in Dallas and Oklahoma City before heading to Mexico City to take on San Antonio on Wednesday. When they return home next Friday, they’ll get the two-time defending champion Heat on Saturday.

Not exactly a warm homecoming.

But the Wolves’ focus is one day at a time at this point. They are collectively disappointed with the effort on Wednesday—particularly on the defensive end—and their focus on Friday at practice was taking note of the little things and trying to work on helping one another on the court throughout each possession.

“We want to win, we need to win,” guard Ricky Rubio said. “That’s how we want to play, and the way we have to do it is improve our defense.”

Mbah a Moute Did Not Practice On Friday

Newly acquired forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was not at practice on Friday due to an excused absence. He was back in Sacramento getting prepared for the Wolves’ upcoming seven-day road trip.

That means Mbah a Moute still has not had a practice with the Wolves, and if he does get playing time on Saturday against Dallas he’ll be getting acclimated on the fly.

Adelman wasn’t clear on whether or not Mbah a Moute will get some playing time in Dallas. He was dressed on Wednesday against the Nuggets but didn’t play.

“He hasn’t practiced, you know, so I don’t know how we’re going to throw him in the game,” Adelman said. “I was hoping he’d be in here today, but it didn’t happen. He’ll probably get an opportunity, though. We’ll have to walk him through some things at shootaround tomorrow.”

Mbah a Moute came over to the Wolves from Sacramento in the Derrick Williams trade from earlier this week. He is billed as a defensive specialist who Minnesota hopes will provide them with some strong defensive play on the perimeter.

Quick Hits

  • Wolves forward Chase Budinger continues to work out at the LifeTime Fitness Training Center. He looked like he was getting good air underneath his jump shot during his shooting drills on Friday, and even with a shooting barrier dummy placed in front of him to obstruct his vision he was hitting his 3-point shots with regularity. Adelman said he hasn’t watched Budinger much since he’s been back since he’s been mostly shooting, but when he does get on the court they’ll begin evaluating where he’s at.
  • Speaking of 3-point shooting, Ricky Rubio shot 44-of-50 going around the arc during one of his shooting sets after practice.

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