Practice Report: Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012
Web Editorial Associate
Coach Rick Adelman touched on topics after Thursday’s practice ranging from J.J. Barea’s foot injury, Brandon Roy’s development and his team rotation strategy.
The first subject he addressed was Barea’s condition. After careening into the scores table during Wednesday night’s win against Orlando, Barea clutched his left foot and went to the bench. His official status is day-to-day with a left mid-foot sprain.
“His foot’s sore today, so they’ll wait and see how he feels tomorrow,” Adelman said. “He didn’t do anything today. He’s a question mark for tomorrow.”
Barea is a key guard off the bench for Minnesota; he came into the season opener against Sacramento and led all scorers with 21 points.
Brandon Roy’s Adjustment
Adelman fielded questions about Brandon Roy as he continues to adjust while returning to the NBA this season. After taking a year off of basketball, Roy has come back and averaged a thin 27 percent from the field, along with a 0-for-9 rate for 3-point attempts. Adelman, however, is not worried.
“I think he’s doing fine,” Adelman said. “I know he’s not shooting very well, but the biggest thing you’re looking for is for him to stay healthy and keep doing what he’s doing. It’s a different situation than when he last played. He’s trying to figure it out and be very patient.”
On a positive note, Roy leads the team in assists, averaging 5.5 per game. He had nine on Wednesday night against Orlando, leading all players.
“He had nine assists last night,” Adelman said. “That’s a big impact on the game. I think it’s very positive that he’s playing, doing a good job defensively; he’s going to make shots. We need to find ways to get him the ball where he’s comfortable. As his legs come back and get used to playing basketball again, he’ll get better. As long as he’s healthy, we’re going in the right direction.”
When asked about his rotation strategy—one where he plays players based on who is doing well, rather than reputation or starting status—Adelman noted some past examples of teams he had previously coached.
“I don’t have a problem with it at all, you have to be ready to play. As long as you’re being successful, they’re going to go along with it. I tell the players, ‘you don’t control the minutes—I control that. But you can control how you play on the court.’ In Houston when we lost McGrady and Yao, we didn’t know who was going to play. We had Kevin Martin who was a good guard, but we would finish with two other guys in Courtney Lee and Kyle (Lowry).”
Minnesota has enjoyed several surprises, like Greg Stiemsma’s mid-range shooting and Alexey Shved’s developing on-court poise. Part of switching Minnesota’s rotation is discovering chemistry within different lineups.
“We’re finding out who plays well together and what they do well on the court,” Adelman said. “When we first got Greg, we never thought of him as a shooter. After about seven practices, he kept knocking them down, so we adjusted. How are we going to play Greg and DC [Dante Cunningham] together? I know Chase [Budinger] very well, but Alexey [Shved] has been a surprise too.”
- As far as Adelman knows, he said the timeline for Ricky Rubio’s comeback from injury is still sometime in December.
- Adelman on his zone usage: “You throw zone in when you want to mix things up. It’s a good tool to have to mix up the tempo of a game. But the really good teams, I don’t see them playing a whole lot of zone. We want to use it as a tool to mix up things, but you won’t see us doing it all the time.”
- Adelman on Kevin Love’s workouts with his broken hand: “He’s just doing conditioning more than anything else. Since he hasn’t done anything with his hand yet, he hasn’t been on the floor.”