Practice Report: Thursday, Jan. 5

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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The Timberwolves began their Thursday practice behind schedule due to a lengthened film session at Target Center, something the team deemed necessary to visualize some of the miscues that cost them a 90-86 loss to Memphis on Wednesday.

Coach Rick Adelman said at this point in the season, it’s important for the youthful Wolves squad to take a closer look at the film and get another look at what they’re doing on the floor.

“I’ve always tried to pick and choose to not do it all the time; we do a lot of it individually with the players and coaches and everything,” Adelman said of the film study. “But this early in the season with this group, I think it’s important they see what we’re talking about.”

The Wolves players agreed. Forward Kevin Love said there is a fine line between Minnesota being 2-4 and possibly sporting a winning record—the Wolves have lost four games by 13 total points—and paying attention to the details is going to be an important part of changing that statistic.

He said despite playing sub-par basketball in Wednesday’s game, the team still put itself in a position to win late.

“We’re right there, and last night was no different,” Love said. “We had a chance to win at the end. … We had a couple bad breaks go our way, but we turn those around, cut down our turnovers and make a few free throws, it’s a whole different ballgame.”

Love said the coaching staff has used the film to their advantage. In particular, the way the footage is cut up into particular parts of the game helps isolate some of the issues the team had.

“Just looking at those different stretches of games, where we can cut out and make them better and not let up is what’s going to help us,” Love said. “But we’re learning a lot on the fly, and a lot of that is in the film work every day, too.”

Injury updates on Barea, Tolliver

Forward Anthony Tolliver fell hard to the floor attempting to pull down a rebound against Memphis on Wednesday, and on Thursday he did not practice. Tolliver attempted to brace his fall and sprained his right wrist, which was wrapped up at the conclusion of Thursday’s workout.

Adelman said he is questionable for Friday’s game. Tolliver has played in all six games this year, averaging 23.2 minutes per contest along with 5.5 points and 4.7 rebounds. He had a season-best 13 points against Dallas on Sunday.

“He didn’t practice today,” Adelman said. “He did a little shooting, but that’s about it. He had a sore back and a sore wrist. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Injured guard JJ Barea, who has missed three of the past four games with a strained left hamstring, did some running up and down the court Thursday. Adelman said it’s up to the medical staff to see when he’ll be able to return to action.

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