Wednesday Practice Report





Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Beasley's Bum Ankle
Game after game, Michael Beasley shows his grit by battling a nagging ankle injury. Unfortunately, in each of the past three games, Beasley aggravated that same ankle in a series of unlucky events.

He stepped on Corey Brewer's foot on Friday night, tweaked it again on Sunday by tripping over Darko Milicic leg, and was undercut by Tim Duncan in Tuesday night's loss at home. The lack of minutes due to the sore ankle has severely affected one of the most improved players in the league, especially from an offensive standpoint. Beasley only scored a combined 26 points in those three games but he seems to be optimistic about a return to the floor.

"It's not that serious; it didn't swell too much or turn colors. It's just a little sore on the outside, it will get better with time," Beasley said.

Head coach Kurt Rambis listed Beasley as doubtful for the Thursday night matchup against the Wizards after the Wolves small forward did not participate in Wednesday's practice session at the Life Time Fitness Training Center.

The main issue for an athletic perimeter player is the lack of lateral movement when dealing with an ankle injury. Beasley explained some of the constraints, "I can't cut as much or cut as sharp as I want to. I have to round my cuts, which ultimately makes me slower or easier to guard. And, I can't really elevate on my jumpshot like I want to. It hinders my performance a bit but we will see where it's at tomorrow."

Off the Bench
Rambis placed Corey Brewer into the starting lineup on Sunday night while utilizing rookie Wes Johnson as a second unit offensive burst. Johnson was limited to zero points in the Portland loss but the former Syracuse standout posted nine points and seven points during his new found role. Already developing a knack for 3-point shooting, Johnson's next big step is to become an off-the-dribble threat and penetrate through the opposing defense.

"In the last three ball games, I really enjoyed his assertiveness offensively, attacking the basket. That's one of the things we are working on, to read and understand when he has an outside open shot opportunity, when he puts the ball on the floor, when he creates for himself, when he creates for other. I mean, that's a lot for him to understand and assess at this point but we are encouraging him to be aggressive. We just don't want him to become a stationary shooter," Rambis stated.

The head man makes the point that the responsibilities are similar for the shooting guard and small forward on the offensive side of the floor. Defensively, Johnson will have to be accountable for a different set of tactics at the three spot.

On Thursday, the Wolves entertain the No. 1 overall pick John Wall and the Washington Wizards at 7 PM. Check out the complete scouting report on timberwolves.com at 10 AM.
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