The Wolves wrapped up preseason play on Thursday night against the Bucks in Milwaukee.
Back in Minneapolis on Friday morning, the team was back at practice.
A standout for the Wolves in their last two preseason games has been Robert Covington. There’s been a lot of talk about the Wolves playing smaller this season with Covington playing primarily the 4 spot.
In the last two games, Covington had 31 total rebounds.
“That’s obviously encouraging to us,” coach Ryan Saunders said. “We know we’re going to need that, especially when we’re playing smaller.”
It’s probably unfair to expect Covington to average 15 rebounds a contest, but it is encouraging that he’s at least capable of it.
It’s interesting listening to Covington talk about how he approaches rebounds. It’s not like he’s getting lucky, being at the right place and the right time (although sometimes that happens). It's about setting up in that split second after the shot goes up.
“I have to set up and initiate and box out and then we have other guys coming in,” Covington said. “It’s all about coming together.”
When more guys crash and box out, it opens lanes for other players to rebounds, such as the team’s guards, something Saunders would like to see more of.
As far as Covington’s minutes go, expect the Wolves to be a little cautious with him. Saunders said he doesn’t see the team playing Karl-Anthony Towns or Covington near 40 minutes a game, especially Covington.
Covington, who played just 35 games last season due to a bone bruise, knows that this is about the bigger picture. If he needs to play fewer minutes to start the season, so be it.
“It’s a long season,” Covington said. “In the offseason, that was one of my goals was to not rush.”
One player who is currently on the mend is wing Treveon Graham. Graham missed Thursday night’s game with a hip contusion, but he took full part in Thursday’s shootaround. His absence from the game was more precautionary than anything. The team just wants to make sure he’s ready for the regular season.