Practice Report: Thursday, February 2
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Minnesota used Thursday’s practice to re-evaluate and move past it’s 109-99 loss to the Indiana Pacers last night.
“We had a good practice,” Adelman said. “We talked about things that went wrong last night and we got ready for tomorrow, good concentration.”
Even with the Wolves’ lineup nearing a healthy status and saw JJ Barea, Michael Beasley and Darko Milicic back in the game, Indiana’s physicality caught them off-guard.
Barea thought Thursday’s practice was effective but knows the team needs to carry the same physicality they show in practice onto the game court.
“I told them (the team) that the Pacers play physical,” Barea said. “We can play physical too, we just have to get used to it. Today we were physical in practice. If we played like we played in practice, we’d be fine.”
Less pick and rolls
Thursday’s practice consisted of the team working its on half-court offense. Throughout the season Adelman has focused on fine-tuning the team’s pick and rolls but following practice he said they are relying on that too much.
“We are not getting enough out of our half court offense,” he said. “We’re not patient in it; we’ve got to get more out of our half court offense, that’s all we did today. We’ve got to do this consistently and that’s going to make the game easier for us. Pick and rolls are great but you can’t do it the whole game. You have to have some other answers.”
Finding the answers continues to be a never ending process for Adelman as he struggles to determine the key factors in both the Wolves’ victories and defeats this season.
“I wish I knew. We’ve played a lot of good teams here but we’ve also lost to some teams here that haven’t been that good,” he said. “So I don’t know what it is. Somehow you’ve got to come in here and play as hard here as you do on the road. We haven’t done that.”
Barea said Adelman’s decision to focus on the team’s half court offense during practice was something the team needed to do.
“It's hard, but we have to do it,” Barea said. “Last night we needed to swing it from side to side... a little more movement. Save the pick and rolls for the fourth quarter. We could be better from half court, definitely.”
Rookie Ricky Rubio also thought Thursday’s practice was effective even though he has seen the team’s success with pick and rolls.
“We know our pick and roll is working and we want to continue doing that,” Rubio said. “But we have new players who were injured and we’re trying to move the ball and play with all the players.”
Adjusting to players coming back from injuries is not always an easy task but Rubio knows everyone on the Wolves roster is a key attribute.
“It’s hard, but it is what it is,” he said of the adjustment. “We didn’t have a long preseason, so now that we have almost the whole team healthy, we have to learn how to play with all the players. We need all of them. It’s a long season with a lot of games and we need all of the players.”
After missing the past three games due to an illness, Milicic returned to the lineup Wednesday but was absent from Thursday’s practice due to a sore leg after being hit in the thigh last night.
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