Practice Report: Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012
Web Editorial Associate
Most of the chatter surrounding the situation at powerforward for the Timberwolves has centered around either Dante Cunningham or Derrick Williams, and rightfully so—the pair split time almost evenly at the position against Chicago on Friday.
But according to Andrei Kirilenko, he might slide into the 4 spot during select lineups.
“Power forward is not really my position,” Kirilenko said after Tuesday’s practice, “but from time to time, I can play the 4. I don’t think I will for the majority of the game, since we still have Dante Cunningham, Derrick Williams, Lou Amundson.”
According to coach Rick Adelman, situations that require more speed may have Kirilenko at power forward. Especially now that starter Kevin Love is injured for at least the next month, you may see Kirilenko’s unique skill set down low.
“He’s a better passer than the other guys,” Adelman said. “He sees the plays a little better. He’s been around long enough…he’s a hard guy to guard because he’s so active. He’s always moving.”
In describing his own abilities, Kirilenko was specific in what he can do to help the team.
“I don’t have to make a specific adjustment,” Kirilenko said, “as a 4 you have to be more connected. I like to pass, and in this offense I am in position to distribute the ball.
“Different matchups are better for me with different teams. San Antonio and Tim Duncan are tougher for me, because he spends so much time in the post. Dallas and Dirk [Nowitzki] are better, because he’s more perimeter.”
If Kirilenko does see early action at power forward, he insists that it will be temporary.
“Kevin Love is a top-three power forward in the league,” Kirilenko said. “It’s impossible to replace him.”
The next two preseason games promise to give coach Adelman a better evaluation of where his squad is at on defense.
“We are playing two different teams with two different styles,” Adelman said. “We have to defend well, because we aren’t as good offensively without [Love].”
Kirilenko—known throughout his career as a stopper—defined himself as a versatile piece in Adelman’s defense.
“I’ll run, guard, be everywhere on the floor, rebound or steal,” Kirilenko said. “I’m not a guy who lives for the statistics. If I’ll help of win the game, I’ll get it. I’m not chasing statistics, I’m chasing plays that will get us something.”
- According to coach Adelman, Nikola Pekovic and Luke Ridnour are both expected to play Wednesday against Detroit after missing previous time due to injury.
- With the team traveling for a four-day stretch starting Tuesday, Kevin Love will reunite with the team on Saturday.