Practice Report: Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012
Web Editorial Associate
Although Wolves center Nikola Pekovic missed Friday's preseason game against the Chicago Bulls, he was matter of fact about his status at Sunday's practice at the LifeTime Fitness Training Center.
“I practiced today, I’m fine,” Pekovic said, referring to his right hand injury sustained against Maccabi Bazan Haifa earlier in preseason. “I had some pain, but I just put a pad on it.”
Pekovic then pointed to his middle and ring finger on his right hand.
“I got hit against Maccabi,” Pekovic said. “You can see it’s kind of sore. He hit me and I got a little sprain.”
After watching Friday’s loss at Chicago from the sideline, the third-year center realized that Minnesota will have some slack to pick up with the loss of Kevin Love for the next month or so.
“I just watched on Friday,” Pekovic said, “and I think we didn’t respond at the very beginning. I think I will for sure have to rebound more with Kevin out. Like coach said, everyone has to step up. We need to make sure that we get a good result for when he comes back.”
While Greg Stiemsma started in place of Pekovic--and did a “fine job,” according to Adelman--the absence was noticeable.
“It hurts us for sure, size-wise and at the basket area,” Adelman said of missing Pekovic. “It would be nice to have someone else we can go to at the basket. Either Stiemsma or Lou [Amundson], we’ll have to find a way to be effective. Pek seems fine today, and I think I’ll play him in these next two games.”
The Rotation at Power Forward
Adelman split time at power forward almost evenly between Dante Cunningham and Derrick Williams on Friday. With Love’s injury, Adelman said that playing time is still very much up in the air—with another name soon to enter the mix.
“They’ll for sure [split time] on Wednesday,” Adelman said of Cunningham and Williams. “I probably will look at Andrei [Kirilenko] there, too…probably Friday. Just so he can get a feel for it. It’s a more creative spot, and he’s one of our better passers. Maybe we’ll finish a game playing small…he would be our four man.”
Whether a starter or bench spark, Cunningham's role is yet to be defined--and that's alright with him.
"We’re trying to find a lineup that will work. Just something that will match," Cunningham commented. "It doesn’t matter to me; whatever minutes I get, I’m going to play 100 percent whether I’m starting or coming off the bench."
- Adelman told media Sunday that despite Luke Ridnour’s back showing improvement, he has still been limited.
- Adelman also commented that the next time he’ll see Kevin Love will be “this week or next weekend.” Love will not travel with the team this week.
- Sunday was Ricky Rubio's birthday, and he got a song and dance from his teammates at the conclusion of practice.