Practice Report: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012
Web Editorial Associate
All eyes in the Fargodome were on Brandon Roy and his knees last night.
The sixth-year veteran scored 13 points in nearly 24 minutes, and according to him, there was no discomfort besides some expected soreness afterwards.
“At the end of the day, every time I get onto the court there’s going to be a little bit of soreness the next day,” Roy said after a team practice on Thursday. “I think the biggest thing was that after that game, I felt good. My minutes were good for my first game, and I’m just looking to build each night out.”
Last night—an 84-70 win over Indiana—was Roy’s first NBA action since retiring briefly in 2011 due to chronic knee pain; after a season of rest and rehabilitation, he felt like his first preseason game for the Timberwolves was a success.
“I felt good,” Roy said. “There’s still even more I can do. I’m just trying to get a feel for the offense and find my spots out there on the court. As the preseason goes on and as the regular season comes into play, I’ll be even more aggressive.”
Roy had a small scare in the first half when he collided knees with an Indiana defender. Luckily, the impact was nothing serious.
“It was knee-to-knee,” Roy said. “It wasn’t like I tweaked my knee or anything. It went away pretty quickly.”
Coach Rick Adelman was happy with Roy’s performance as well.
“I think offensively he’s still a very, very good player,” Adelman said. “He let the game just come to him, and he didn’t force anything. The offense will helpfully give a guy an opportunity to have an advantage; I think that it’s all part of it. If we move the ball well, we’re going to be okay.”
Roy’s long-term health is a larger concern than a single performance. The Minnesota coaching and training staffs are taking plenty of caution with Roy and his return to the league, and even his status for tomorrow’s contest is in question.
“We did a lot of talking, and he says he feels ok,” Adelman said. “I haven’t even talked to him about tomorrow yet, so we’ll have to figure that out. It depends on how he feels.
“I’ll talk to [Wolves athletic trainer] Gregg [Farnam] and Brandon and we’ll see. If he plays, he for sure will start. I’d rather have him in the game early.”
Minnesota center Nikola Pekovic guarded Indiana’s Roy Hibbert for much of last night. Hibbert found little success, scoring only five points and racking up five fouls in the process.
Pekovic, who stands a couple inches shorter than the 7-foot-2 Hibbert, saw the matchup as a welcomed challenge.
“Every game is a challenge here in the NBA,” Pekovic said. “It doesn’t matter if he has a couple inches on me, or is undersized or stronger or weaker. Every game is a challenge and we just need to take it.”
The third-year center comes into this season with several physical changes, including an increased level of conditioning. He also had offseason surgery removing bone spurs in his right ankle, a procedure that he says makes movement much more comfortable.
“It’s been a long time since my last game,” Pekovic said. “Since I’ve had surgery, I’ve recovered. I can be happy with my first game; I feel good. Everything is different when you play games.
“I just need to ice [my ankles] every day. I had a long recovery where for three months I didn’t run at all. Now I feel good, and we’ll see how it feels in the season.”
- Rookie guard Alexey Shved was satisfied with his first NBA game. While he had no points, he logged four assists as well as four rebounds. “I feel great. I didn’t score any points, but I got some passes,” Shved said. “Everything is good, and we are waiting for the second game tomorrow.”
- Coach Adelman mentioned that despite Shved’s capability to play point guard [as seen in the Olympics], he will stay at shooting guard for now. “It’s easier for him to just play that one position,” Adelman said. “That’s probably what we’ll do tomorrow, too.”
- Luke Ridnour will probably make the trip to Indiana, while Malcolm Lee will stay home. “I’ll have to ask Gregg [Farnam] tomorrow and see what he thinks for the weekend,” Adelman said. “I don’t think Malcolm is going, I think he’ll stay back for treatment.”