Practice Report | Oct. 22, 2013

Practice Report | Oct. 22, 2013

Kyle Ratke
Web Editorial Associate

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If you first glanced at the box score from Sunday’s 104-89 win over the Boston Celtics, you might have been surprised at who was playing the small forward position.

Derrick Williams received the start from coach Rick Adelman over Corey Brewer.

While it doesn’t mean that Williams will start the season over Brewer, it is something to keep an eye on. Williams finished with five points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes of play.

“He rebounded the ball well. That’s one thing that he did do well and when he’s playing that spot it’s defensively,” Adelman said. “You know you’re playing a totally different player than you are at the 4-spot because the guy is normally active and he’s going to be very aggressive. And you know, he had to guard Gerald Wallace; he had to guard Jeff Green. Those are different players than 4-men.”

Brewer came off the bench and scored seven points, collected six rebounds and had two blocks in 21 minutes of play. Ideally, Adelman would like to have Brewer come off the bench, but with the injury situation involving Chase Budinger, that might not be possible. The former Gator found his niche over the last two seasons coming off the bench for Denver.

“Yeah, I haven’t really talked to him about it (coming off the bench) but I do see the difference when he came off the bench the other night,” Adelman said. “He just brings so much energy...I know he did that for Denver last year and you know, I think you just need to find out what’s best for your team that we have right now… If he did come off of the bench, he would be one of the best sixth men in the league.”

Adelman is happy with the work Williams has been putting in, but by playing two positions, he thinks that Williams is at a bit of a disadvantage.

The Wolves travel to play the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday and the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.

Expect Adelman to experiment a bit at the small forward position.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do the next two games. I think I’m going to start other people,” Adelman said. “Trying to figure out what our rotation is going to be and I really don’t know that unless, you know, I play other people at that spot and then figure out. Like I said, the first game doesn’t mean that’s how it’s going to be for 82. We’re just trying to find out what’s the best today for us and you know, go from there.”

3-Point Shooting Coming Around

There has been a lot of talk about Ricky Rubio’s 29.3 3-point percentage last season. Throughout the offseason and Training Camp, Rubio has worked on improving that mark, knowing that it will open up things for him and his teammates.

We saw some of that come to fruition in Montreal. Rubio was 5-of-9 from the field and hit two out of three 3-pointers.

“You know, when he’s making shots, teams can’t go under on him,” Adelman said. “They’ve got to play him honest and you know, in this league, a lot of times that’s the guy the ball’s going to be swung to. If he knocks those down, it puts a lot of pressure on the other team.”

Rubio’s final line was 15 points, seven assists and four rebounds in 31 minutes of play.

With the addition of Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer in the offseason, along with a healthy Kevin Love, the Wolves should already improve from the 3-point line. If Rubio can even hit 35 percent of his 3-pointers this season, it would help the Wolves immensely.

Against the Celtics, the team shot 40 percent from the 3-point line (10-25).

Quick Hits

  • The Wolves practiced on the main floor of the Target Center rather than the Life Time Fitness Center.

  • Love was 2-for-8 from the 3-point line in Sunday’s win over the Boston Celtics. Despite the six misses, Adelman isn’t worried one bit about his star power forward shooting that many times.

    “If he’s getting open looks, I want him taking the shots. It just puts so much pressure on the other team.”

  • This upcoming season, the Wolves will travel more than any team in the league. Adelman, who was aware of that, said that he doesn’t like it, but there’s not a lot the team can do.

    “It’s pretty obvious that we’re (Minnesota) not real close to the Western teams.”

  • The team hasn’t made any roster cuts yet and that likely won’t come until after the double-header this week. Expect the team to give some extended minutes to the roster’s fringe players such as A.J. Price, Robbie Hummel, Lorenzo Brown, Othyus Jeffers and Chris Johnson.

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