Practice Report | Oct. 5, 2013
Practice Report | Oct. 5, 2013
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The Timberwolves went about an hour longer than previously expected during Saturday’s first practice of the season at Target Center. After a pretty rigorous camp in Mankato, the Wolves are trying to put the finishing touches on their early schemes prior to four games in six nights beginning Monday at home against CSKA Moscow. Their final practice before that stretch of games begins is Sunday afternoon.
This preseason is set up different than most. Instead of games spaced out throughout October, Minnesota gets four of their seven preseason contests right off the bat in the first week of games. They’ll play Monday at home, then head to Toronto on Wednesday, play Milwaukee in Sioux Falls on Thursday, then head back to Target Center to face Toronto on Saturday.
After that, the Wolves get a full seven days off before heading to Montreal to face the Boston Celtics as part of the league’s annual NBA Canada Series. They’ll wrap up with road two road games at Philadelphia and Detroit before the regular season opener on Oct. 30 against Orlando.
Peculiar, yes. But it does give Minnesota an opportunity to view that off week as a second Training Camp of sorts. With a full seven days off, the guys can rest their bodies a bit while the team can watch video, see how they’re running their schemes and adjust accordingly. It’s also an opportunity to build on the sets the team already implemented earlier in the month.
“You have to know where you are—you have to see where guys are at physically,” coach Rick Adelman said. “You have to give the guys a little bit of a break, too, to get their legs back after they play four in six.”
Adelman said you can expect to see a variety of players getting time in Monday’s game against CSKA Moscow, because he wants to be able to evaluate the full roster. In particular, he wants to see the young guys play so he can make decisions on who will make the team.
Love hitting from the outside
After practice on Saturday, Kevin Love went around the horn shooting sets of 10 in each corner, the wings and at the top of the key. He was hitting at a pretty good clip. When he got to the left wing, he hit all 10 of his shots in that set and was also solid from the top of the key and in the left corner.
One thing Adelman noticed about Love so far is his shooting touch is most definitely back.
“Just watching Kevin shoot this year compared to after he came back from the hand, he’s like he was two years ago,” Adelman said.
Two years ago, Love hit a career-high 105 3-pointers and shot 37.2 percent from behind the arc and won the NBA’s Foot Locker 3-Point Contest over All-Star Weekend. A year ago during his 18 games in between hand injuries, Love shot 21.7 percent from distance.
As a whole, the team’s biggest deficiency last year was from 3-point range. Adelman said with a healthy Love back coupled with adding Kevin Martin (who has shot very well this week), that’s a strong base for improving the team’s 3-point percentage this year.
“Kevin Martin, I mean he could miss six in a row and [I’d say] just take the next six, because he’s going to make shots,” Adelman said. “And you’re hoping Ricky steps up and J.J. steps up. I think we’ll be better there for sure. Of course, we have to be better.”