Practice Report | Oct. 8, 2013

Practice Report | Oct. 8, 2013

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Coach Rick Adelman wasn’t happy with his team’s play offensively last night against CSKA Moscow, particularly out of the starters. They were flat, he said, and were not the aggressors in Minnesota’s 108-106 overtime loss.

On Tuesday, however, the players responded. There was better execution of plays, because, well, the adjustments had to be made.

“We ran our offense, but we didn’t execute it,” Adelman said of Monday’s loss. “We kind of just went through the motions. We talked about that, and we talked about how physical they were and how we had to step it up.”

The Wolves had an early practice on Tuesday and immediately headed for the airport. They’ll face Toronto tomorrow night at 6 p.m. CT at the Air Canada Center before flying directly to Sioux Falls for a contest against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday. That game will be played at the brand new Pentagon sports facility, built by Sanford Health.

Adelman said both J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham were back in practice and available on Tuesday, and both will be making their preseason likely on Wednesday. Barea missed Monday’s game for personal reasons, and Cunningham dressed but didn’t play due to flu-like symptoms.

Others who didn’t play on Monday night, including Chris Johnson, Gorgui Dieng and Lorenzo Brown, should see more action on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Bringing The Energy

The Wolves are looking for guys who can bring energy and communication to the court, especially on defense. One player in particular was on the floor last night, and he was part of the unit that helped Minnesota climb back in the fourth quarter to take the lead and, eventually, head into overtime.

Ronny Turiaf’s career is full of moments where he showcases his energy and emotion through celebrations—whether he’s playing or on the bench. He’s constantly communicating with his teammates, and he certainly helps the intensity level rise when he’s on the floor.

“He’s a terrific teammate,” Adelman said. “I mean, he’s always talking to guys. I’d say in our practices we’ve had, him and Corey [Brewer] have really kept things going.”

Barea has been the most vocal player on the Wolves roster since arriving two years ago, and he’ll be back suited up when the team faces the Raptors. His communication mirrors Turiafs in the sense that he’s always making sure teammates know where he’s at.

He said he has admiration for what Turiaf is bringing to the team.

“He’s great—he’s going to talk,” Barea said. “He’s going to talk and he’s going to have energy. I think that’s something we need.”

The communication is something the team will work on throughout the season, Barea said.

“We’ve got to get better all year long,” Barea said. “The team, we have a lot of guys who don’t like to talk that much. They’re kind of seeing who talks and all that, but we need everybody, especially the big guys talk a little bit more.”

Quick Hits

  • Barea has been adamant during camp that the preseason doesn’t bring out his best: “I’m not a big fan of the preseason—I’ve always been terrible,” he said. “Only my first year, when I was trying to make the team in Dallas, was I good in the preseason.”

  • The Wolves are expecting a sell-out crowd at The Pentagon in Sioux Falls on Thursday. The new facility, home to the D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce, is brand new and Thursday’s game will be the first professional basketball contest played there. The Skyforce are moving across town from the Sioux Falls Arena, where they’ve played since their inception in 1989.

  • Corey Brewer impressed Adelman with his ability to get out in transition last night. That’s something the Wolves hope he can bring all year long with the help of Kevin Love outlet passes and Ricky Rubio’s vision. “I think he can really get out and run,” Adelman said. “And he can finish nice at the basket. We’ve just got to be sure we get him the ball and not the other team.”

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