Practice Report: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013




Lindsey LaBelle
Web Editorial Assistant

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Brandon Roy spoke with media Thursday as he tries to move past setbacks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in November.

Brandon Roy still does not have a time table, for a full recovery, but a workout schedule with varied intensity and a new knee brace that helps unload pressure on the joint are the latest.

Over the weekend, Roy faced a setback and tweaked his knee while practicing. He said he was feeling good about his progress on Friday, but on Saturday he felt the setback while doing a move and tweaking his knee. He said he didn't bump anyone this time.

“Everything that I’ve spoken with doctors, they said, right now, remember things are still what they were in the past," Roy said. "I haven’t damaged anything any further, and with that said, I’m just going to keep trying to do the best I can to get on the court.”

The biggest difficulty for Roy is watching as the team continues to struggle with injuries and not being able to re-join the squad.

"It's tough; the biggest part is with the team struggling, that's the hardest part," Roy said. "When I went out, we had Chase [Budinger] go down, then Malcolm [Lee], then Josh [Howard]. It's hard. Then the last couple weeks coach isn't here and then Pek's out wand Alexey."

So Roy said he's continuing to work through any setbacks that come up, and he's still hopeful he can get back on the court this year.

"I thought mentally I was in a good place [before Saturday's setback]," Roy said. "Then it happened, and I'm like, 'Here we go again.'"

Wolves talk toughness after physical Clippers game

Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea emphasized toughness as the key to pulling away with a win: Sometimes they have to be a bit more like Greg Stiemsma, he said.


Barea was referring to last night's game against the Clippers in which Greg Stiemsma picked up a Flagrant 1 with a hard foul on Grant Hill and was quickly confronted by Caron Butler and Ronny Turiaf.

Head coach Rick Adelman affirmed at practice that Stiemsma is not a dirty player, and while Hill went down hard, Stiesma was just doing his job.

“He just plays the game, he doesn’t try to do anything, it’s just a situation that happened on the court,” Adelman said. “We want our guys to set picks, we want our big guys to be physical, and Greg always tries to do that.”

Barea sees no problem with a hard foul here and there, and driving to the basket for an open layup can make all the difference in building both physical and mental toughness within a roster.

The Wolves have it in them, Barea said. They like to compete, they like to win and there’s a visible fury building behind those losses.

Ricky Rubio acknowledged the opportunities he took to drive to the basket on Wednesday, and said that this Wolves team is still learning.

"When other teams like the Clippers want to be in the championship and showed yesterday, when the game is not going their way, they try to get tougher,” Rubio said. “They hit [Greg Stiemsma] and they tried to get physical against us and we didn’t know to step back.”


The Lakers Are Coming To Town

Coach Rick Adelman said the Wolves shouldn’t assume that the Lakers' eight-game road skid is indicative of what will occur Friday night.

“I’d be really surprised if they’re not a team that just moves past a lot of people as the season goes on,” Adelman said. “They have too much talent, unless they get injuries. I think they’re the Lakers, and we’ve got to play a good game if we’re going to beat them.”

Adelman said in order to get a win, the Wolves need to find a way to be more consistent defensively and maintain their composure if they're falling behind.

The team has a tendency to bow out if things aren’t going well on one end of the court, he said.

“I think a lot of it might be our younger guys, or guys get caught up in the officiating," Adelman said. "We just have to face facts: We’re not going to get the calls that some of these other teams get until we earn it. I think our guys have to keep their mindset. If they’re missing shots or things aren’t going good at one end, you’ve got to stay tough at the other end, you got to have that mental toughness.”

Ricky Rubio defended fellow Spaniard Pau Gasol, who has been in the rumor mill for the past few seasons.

“He’s proved to the league that he is one of the best,” Rubio said. “He can pass, he can shoot, he can rebound, he can do a lot of things, and I think if you use him in the right way, he’s a top player in this league, so, if they don’t want him, we are more than welcome to get him.”

Quick Hits

  • Adelman on the Wolves stumbling late after big leads: “I think it’s always interesting when people say we blew and 18-point lead, but I look around the league and 18-point leads are being blown every night,” Adelman said. “The NBA is a game of spurts a lot of the time.”


  • Rubio on trusting his knee: “I’m trying to do it, I try to be more aggressive, I try to not be afraid to get hurt again, because I can get hurt again, but if it’s going to come, it’s going to come, and I don’t have to think about it, I want to enjoy playing.”



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