Practice Report: Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012

Alex Conover
Web Editorial Associate

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Andrei Kirilenko and the rest of the Minnesota Timberwolves enjoyed a snowy Sunday afternoon indoors, working on the aspects of their game that earned them victories against the Sixers and the Cavaliers.

“I think we should stay with consistent offense and defense,” Kirilenko said after practice. “We got the Philadelphia game, we got Cleveland for most of the game, being aggressive defensively and getting our hands on the ball.

“Make those plays where our opponents have to play differently. Stop their play and put it in a different direction. Get everybody back healthy, we are starting to get everybody back. That’s very good news, so we go from there.”

With injuries to Brandon Roy and Chase Budinger, less experienced players like Malcolm Lee and Alexey Shved have had the opportunity to step up and grab plenty of minutes. With Lee—a second-round pick from last year—more playing time means an increased confidence.

“I feel like every game I get more comfortable out there,” Lee said. “Particularly my shot, because believe it or not, if your mechanics are there, at the end of the day it’s the ability to have confidence in your stroke.”

Winter Wonderland

With about half of the Wolves’ roster being new this year, this is the first Minnesota winter for several players. Sunday’s snowfall marked the first sign that winter had truly arrived in Minneapolis.

For Kirilenko and Shved, they had at least experienced Russian winters—although according to them, Minnesota’s are supposed to be more snowy.

“It’s alright,” Kirilenko said of the winter driving. “In Russia you can use the spikes on the tires. I heard in American you cannot.”

Shved compared the driving to Moscow’s, but he also lamented his lack of driving spikes.

“Like in Moscow, but a little bit more snow,” Shved said with a laugh. “It’s a big problem for me, because I always drive with spikes. I was driving like 20 miles (per hour). I have (BMW) X5, it is a good car, a big one. My brother woke up today and told everybody, ‘This is like I woke up in Moscow!’”

Although Lee lives just a couple blocks from the Target Center, he still had some trouble driving in. The southern California native is just now experiencing a true Minnesotan winter, as last year’s was relatively mild.

“I’ve never seen this much snow in my life,” Lee said. “Last year it really didn’t snow like that. I slid about three times, I was going like 10 miles per hour and I still fishtailed.”

Quick Hits

  • Shved on Minnesota’s four days without games: “We have long season, too many games; we need three or four days in a row for rest without games.”

  • Kirilenko on whether more or less minutes affect his back condition: “I don’t think it’s minutes that affect me. I think it’s stretching it, you can’t really plan it. I’m used to playing a lot. To be honest, I like to play a lot of minutes. I like to play 35-40 minutes a game.”
  • Lee on the strengths of his game: “Of course playing defense and every game proving I can knock down open shots. I think I have the ability with my quick footwork to move laterally and stay in front of defenders. Plus I’m strong enough to body them, too.”

  • Brandon Roy was at practice today but did not participate.

  • Assistant coach Terry Porter was the acting head coach today as coach Rick Adelman attended a court dedication at Chemeketa Community College in Oregon.

  • For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at