Training Camp 2012 Report: Day 2

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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If Day 1 of Training Camp threw the Timberwolves head first into the physical grind of the NBA season, Day 2 was geared toward how the players’ bodies would respond. Minnesota started camp with a four-hour practice on Tuesday and followed it up with a three-hour workout at Minnesota State University-Mankato today.

What they found was even though it’s early in Training Camp, their bodies are up to the challenge.

“Even if I didn’t have knee problems, I was going to be tired today,” guard Brandon Roy joked. “And everybody was tired, but I thought we did a good job of pushing through. That’s always a sign of a good team, that you push through the fatigue. That’s no different than the regular season. You get tired, and you’re always going to wonder how you respond the next day. But we have to rely on one another, and I thought we did that today.”

Wolves coach Rick Adelman said he’s aware of the rigors of opening up camp, particularly with the long practice on Tuesday and the injury histories of players like Roy. That’s why today’s practice was shorter and helped the players’ bodies recover.

Roy in particular was held out of some of the later scrimmage minutes to rest his knees, something Adelman said he’ll decide from time to time to help with Roy’s overall health.

“I’m going to pick and choose,” Adelman said. “He wants to play all the time, but you have to be smart. He’s doing fine.”

Forward Chase Budinger sat out part of Tuesday’s practice nursing a strained left hamstring but was back on the court for a full session today. Forward Dante Cunningham tweaked his ankle toward the end of practice, Adelman said, and he sat out the remainder of practice. Adelman said when Cunningham was on the floor, he showed signs of being an impact player.

“I think he’s a real energy guy—a very good defender,” Adelman said. “He does all the little things. Him and Lou [Amundson] are very similar in what they do. The things we really didn’t do very well last year: running down loose balls, getting the offensive board, keeping the ball alive.”

The Wolves mixed and matched their lineups for the second straight day, giving Adelman and the coaching staff a chance to see how the Wolves work together while also getting the players acquainted with one another.

Guard JJ Barea said on top of the team responding well physically to Day 1’s workout, the team is showing signs of getting to know one another’s tendencies through those changing scrimmage and 5-on-5 drill lineups.

“It’s good. I think coach, that’s coach’s job,” Barea said. “He’s done a good job of mixing and matching and trying to play with everybody, trying to get a feel for everybody so we are ready for the season.”

Brad Miller Takes In Practice

Brad Miller, who spent last season with the Timberwolves, was at Training Camp on Wednesday from start to finish. He spent much of the day observing while also working with some of the team’s forwards and centers on techniques.

Kevin Love said it was good to have Miller back, a 14-year veteran with six different teams who spent much of his career playing for Adelman in Sacramento, Houston and Minnesota.

“Even now he taught me some things today, breaking some bad habits,” Love said. “I think he’d be a great coach, and he’s always a good guy to get along with. He knows when to take it seriously and knows when to be light.”

Adelman joked Miller, who played a career-low 9.7 minutes per game a season ago, got more done on Wednesday than he did all last year. He said Miller plans to stay through the end of Training Camp in Mankato and work with the bigs, helping them understand schemes and techniques.

“He’s such a smart player. With the group we have a lot of stuff we’re doing is what we did a lot in the past,” Adelman said. “He’s really smart about it. I just thought he could help some of the big guys make them understand what they have to look for.”

NBA Announces Anti-Flop Rule

The NBA announced Wednesday it will penalize players this season for flopping and will fine players for repeated violations. Officials at league headquarters will take a look at exaggerated falls in depth and will rule on their necessity.

The first violation will result in a warning for a player. The second will be a $5,000 fine, the third will be a $10,000 fine, the fourth will be $15,000 and the fifth will be $30,000. Six or more could lead to a suspension.

The Wolves talked about the rule Wednesday, and coach Rick Adelman said he hopes the rule will be assessed within reason.

“As long as they don’t go overboard on it,” Adelman said. “That’s a tough position.”

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