Practice Report: Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012
Web Editorial Associate
With the Timberwolves’ preseason opener Wednesday night in Fargo, N.D., coach Rick Adelman gave away some details after Tuesday’s practice on his game plan going in against the Indiana Pacers.
“It’s probably going to be Kevin (Love) and (Nikola) Pekovic and J.J. (Barea) for sure,” Adelman said when asked about the starting lineup. “Probably Brandon (Roy) and Andrei (Kirilenko). We'll see how the game goes; for sure we'll play 10 or 11 guys.”
Barea steps in for an injured Ricky Rubio, who is still rehabilitating his knee. Veteran Luke Ridnour would compete for time at that spot if not for a sore back that has limited him the last few days.
“I think he'll be ready over the weekend,” Adelman said of Ridnour. “He couldn't really practice today, but he felt a lot better…he went through some things. We'll play the other guys tomorrow and then decide over the weekend.”
The wild card in the guard rotation could be newcomer Alexey Shved. At 6-foot-6 with long arms and a potent jumpshot, Shved projects at point guard and shooting guard; Adelman will test him at both spots during the preseason.
“I think (Shved) will play about half the game,” Adelman said. “Especially with Luke out, he'll play at the 2 to start and then probably shift him to point sometime during the game.”
The key for the Russian rookie this season might be how quickly he can adapt to the NBA game.
“Her shot the ball very well in camp,” Adelman said, “but when you get to the games, we'll find out how and where he's getting his shots. Like I said, he just needs experience.”
Adelman isn’t worried about Brandon Roy’s health, either. Roy, who missed all of last season after retiring due to his knee condition, had a productive training camp and projects to start for the Timberwolves tomorrow night.
“I think I'll probably play him like the other guys,” Adelman said. “See how he feels, play him half the game and then go from there.”
Rotation at forward and center
The big man rotation is a little muddier. After a training camp where many performed well, the order behind Love and Pekovic remains unclear.
“Our big guys are very active, with a lot of energy,” Adelman said. “That's something that's going to really help us. The guys off the bench really know how to play, and they give us a different dimension than we had before.
“We've had Derrick play well, Dante play well, Lou has played well… Greg the last few days is getting better and better, his conditioning is better… It's going to be tough to make a decision on who's going to play.”