Practice Report: Saturday, April 21
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Timberwolves forward Kevin Love and guard Luke Ridnour were both back at practice on Saturday participating in a light workout before Sunday’s game against Golden State.
Love has missed five games since suffering a mild concussion and neck strain against Denver on April 11, and Ridnour has missed nine games with a sprained right ankle suffered against Sacramento on April 2. Both players’ statuses will be evaluated tomorrow prior to their 6 p.m. tipoff with the Warriors.
Love also must pass a series of mandated concussion tests by the NBA before he is allowed to compete. Participating in today’s practice was one step, and he will need to pass a neurological test that also must be approved by the NBA. A determination on his clearance will be made at that time.
Still, Love said after days of going through concussion symptoms and not being able to practice or do physical activity, Saturday was a big step.
“I feel better, I feel good,” Love said. “As you can imagine from lack of activity I’m a little out of shape, but I feel great.”
Coach Rick Adelman said Love looked fine during the team’s light practice session, and forward Derrick Williams said he was the “same old Kevin” making 3-pointers and playing hard on the court.
Love said he hopes to be back for the last two games of the regular season, but he’ll have to wait on finalizing the tests before he can get to that point.
“I just want to be back out there and be part of the team again,” Love said. “I think it would set a good example. If I’m able to play, I’ll go out there. If not, then so be it. But I’m just trying to work back.”
Ridnour wore an ankle brace and played a session of one on one with assistant coach Bill Bayno after practice. He looked like he favored his ankle during some of his movements, but he still could be available on Sunday.
“He was limping a little bit,” Adelman said. “We didn’t do a lot so it was hard to tell, but we’ll see what they decide tomorrow.”
Williams talks development over the summer
Williams said as the team finishes up the final week of the season he will begin looking ahead to what he needs to do in his summer workouts to make strides in his progression for next year.
Williams has shown flashes of the aggressiveness he used to dominate the Pac 10 and send Arizona to the Elite Eight as a sophomore last year, and as an NBA rookie he is averaging 9.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. But he said he knows he has work to do this summer to become more consistent and to elevate his game.
“I think a lot of people have confidence in me to get a lot better,” Williams said. “I think with my potential, I can be a pretty good player. This offseason is going to be big for me.”
Adelman said consistency is the biggest thing Williams needs to work on, but the lockout and the shortened season didn’t help.
“He’s like a lot of rookies, not being able to do anything all summer and then not even seeing him until we started,” Adelman said. “That probably had something to do with it. This summer is going to be big for him.”
A new-look Love
Love garnered significant attention on Twitter this week when he posted a photo sporting a mustache after shaving off the rest of his beard. He has since shaved off the mustache completely and received comments from his coaches and teammates about his new boyish look.
Adelman joked that he looks about 12 years old. Love said he thinks he trimmed some years off his appearance.
“He looks totally different,” Williams said. “He looks five years younger. He looks 18 now.”
Love said the mustache tweet was a way to get a laugh in the social media world and that fans retweeted and commented at length about his new look. He said he thought about keeping the mustache, but one thing stood in the way.
“I was going to keep it, but I couldn’t look in the mirror and see my dad every time,” Love said.
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