Practice Report: Tuesday, January 17

Practice Report: Tuesday, January 17

Kelsey Kroll
Wolves Editorial/Social Media Associate


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The Timberwolves packed the court during Tuesday's practice at Target Center, a sight the team has not seen very often with several players sidelined due to injuries early in the season. Back on the practice court Tuesday was guard JJ Barea, center Brad Miller and forward Martell Webster—all anxious to get back in the game.

Coach Rick Adelman said the team had a good attitude during the workout and was pleased to have so many guys on the floor.

"We had a lot more bodies than we normally do," Adelman said. "When guys come back decisions are going to be made. One thing about it is competition for minutes. When you go out and play you have to do the right thing because other guys want those minutes."

Returning Wolves

Webster, who underwent back surgery in September, was especially glad to be back on the practice court, putting in full participation. He said the doctors have cleared him for full basketball activity and his return is now a matter of when he’s implemented back into the rotation.

"It feels good to finally be part of the team," Webster said. "That’s what it feels like. You can do all the training, the rehab and conditioning. But outside team play, it doesn’t compare to begin on the court.”

Barea also was anxious to get back in the game and while his return for Wednesday's game against the Detroit Pistons is questionable, following practice he was confident in his return. He’s been hampered by both a strained left hamstring and a sprained left ankle.

"Hamstring is back to normal," Barea said. "I’m ready to go, and I think it’s good to start tomorrow, then we have the day off and then we have back to backs."

Also with full participating Tuesday was center Brad Miller who has yet to play in a game this season since having microfracture surgery on his left knee in May.

All around efforts

Adelman expressed the all-around impressive efforts he has seen from the team, and while he would rather have forward Kevin Love rest a bit more, he knows he is needed on the court. Love is averaging 39.6 minutes per game, which is tops in the NBA as of Tuesday.

"He's been very consistent offensively," he said. "The one thing with our team right now is I've probably played him more than I would like in games but it seems like last night, I took him out for a pretty good stretch and we lost 18 points really quick. He can get a lot better too and help his teammates get better."

Love tallied 33 points Monday night and was followed by guard Luke Ridnour with a season-high 25 points. Guard Wayne Ellington also has been stepping up for Minnesota, scoring a season-high 15 points.

"He plays hard every time he steps on the court," Adelman said of Ellington following practice. "I think he's really defended well, one thing he has done constantly. He's really knocking down shots right now."

Nikola Pekovic also has seen more playing time since returning from a groin injury and has the tools to be tough under the hoop. Pekovic, who played his first minutes on Jan. 6, has been averaging 16.5 minutes, 6 points and 3 rebounds over the past two games.

"One thing about Pekovic, he's going to be around the baskets” Adelman said. “He sets really good hard picks and he's going to be a physical presence.”

For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.