Practice Report: Friday, Dec. 29





Kelsey Kroll
Wolves Editorial/Social Media Assistant

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The Timberwolves were back on the practice court Thursday afternoon as they prepare to face one of the Eastern Conference's leading teams, the 3-0 Miami Heat.

Coming off back-to-back losses against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Milwaukee Bucks, the Timberwolves know they cannot afford to make the same mistakes Friday night. And with guard JJ Barea questionable due to a hamstring injury he suffered against the Bucks, Adelman said his team will have to get back on track to pull out a win.

"They are a very, very good team," Adelman said. "I was surprised they lost last year to Dallas and they seem to be even better this year. They are moving the ball more, they are harder to guard and if we turn the ball over on them like we did Tuesday it is going to be a slam dunk contest."

Adelman, who was not present for Tuesday's 98-95 loss to the Bucks, was visibly disappointed in the loss and said despite the team having a chance to come back in the end, they hurt themselves too much.

"In the first half we broke down in areas we've been working on and we didn't come into the groove we needed to, especially playing on the road," Adelman said. "Everybody playing on the road is going to have energy and come at you and we didn't have it. We didn't defend the first half, we didn't take care of the ball the whole game and we still had a chance to win.

"We just need to keep our concentration night-in, night-out, be more consistent with our effort and the things we do. It's too bad. We just fell apart in some areas and in different parts of the game."

While the team came within reach of the win and proved they can make a comeback, Adelman is not looking for a close game. The Wolves are ready for a win.

"It showed that they didn't quit and that they came back but we need to get to the point where we can't be happy with close games, we need to go out and win games. That is the step we need to make."

Barea limited in practice

Barea, who suffered a right hamstring injury against Milwaukee, had limited participation during Thursday's practice, performing half-court drills only. However, he was optimistic about a quick return.

"It's a lot better today," Barea said. "There's no tear in it, it's just swollen and bruised up. We'll see how it's going tomorrow and go from there. I've never been hurt in the last five years. If I miss one game, it's usually a lot. I'm trying to get through this week, get healthy again and get it going."

Barea said he has never dealt with a hamstring injury before, but he's optimistic he can return by Sunday to face his former team, the Dallas Mavericks.

Derrick Williams ready to face LeBron

Rookie forward Derrick Williams could barely hide the smirk on his face when asked about his thoughts on facing Heat forward LeBron James, a player he has watched and idolized for several years.

"I grew up watching LeBron so it will be pretty surreal and exciting," Williams said. "I'm 20 but I've been watching his whole career since he got into the league so it's going to be pretty exciting."

Exciting it may be, but Williams knows the Timberwolves will need to bring their A-game to stop a player like James.

"He is one of the best scorers in the league and you can't just stop people," Williams said. "You can only do your best to contain them and that is what we are going to try to do."


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