Practice Report: Tuesday, January 24

Practice Report: Tuesday, January 24

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Available players were again at a premium on Tuesday at Timberwolves practice, as Minnesota went through its final workout before heading to Dallas for a Wednesday night matchup with the Mavericks.

Like Monday’s tilt with Houston—a game in which the Wolves had nine players available—Minnesota was stretched for numbers at the Life Time Fitness Training Center and even relied on player development coach Shawn Respert to participate in certain drills to make a full 10 on the court.

The Wolves were without Wes Johnson (flu-like symptoms), JJ Barea (ankle), Michael Bealsey (foot), Martell Webster (back), Brad Miller (knee) and Malcolm Lee (knee) during Monday’s game, and coach Rick Adelman said with the exception of Johnson he doesn’t expect the rest of the players to play in Dallas on Wednesday.

“Pretty much what we had last night with maybe Wes,” Adelman said. “We’ll do what we can.”

On the bright side, Webster said after practice he will be evaluated again on Tuesday and feels good about the possibility of a speedy return.

“I’m just trying to contribute any way I can,” Webster said. “That’s fun. I love playing basketball, and I’m just excited to be playing basketball and playing with my team again.”

Preparing for the road trip

The Wolves practice was short and sweet Tuesday, and Adelman said the team went hard but not for long. He said he had a few points he wanted to get through with the team, but with the club playing three games in the next five days, staying fresh is also a priority.

Adelman said the combination of missing bodies and little practice time makes it difficult to evaluate which combinations of players make the best combination on the floor, but he’s hopeful that will change soon.

“We’re playing different combinations, and I know that’s hard on some of the players because they’re not getting some of the consistent minutes they would like,” Adelman said. “Hopefully when everyone gets back we can make a decision on who is going to get the minutes.”

The Wolves look to bounce back from Monday’s home loss to Houston, a game in which the Timberwolves showed different looks and tried players at different positions in order to conserve energy and provide the best matchups. In the second half the Wolves put guards Luke Ridnour, Ricky Rubio and Wayne Ellington on the floor at the same time, and they also played rookie Derrick Williams at the small forward position.

Adelman said in Williams’ case, he’s got to be ready to attack the hoop from that position.

“He’s got to take advantage of his size and go to the basket and make them pay,” Adelman said.

Rubio said it’s important to rebound in Dallas after a difficult near comeback defeat against the Rockets.

“No matter what you did you need to think about what you did wrong and try to do better next time,” Rubio said.

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