Training Camp Report | Getting Everyone On The Same Page

On Tuesday, the Wolves had a short practice focused on solidifying some things on offense, getting some shots up and preparing for their season opener in San Antonio. After a week of tough practices, this one was a bit lighter in order to keep the team fresh for Wednesday’s game.

While the team tends to practice at a high speed, players and coaches understand that there’s really no substitute for in-game action. It’s one thing to play against your teammates and another to face a real opponent.

“We’ve had a couple days where we’ve done quite a bit of scrimmaging, but practice is a lot different than a game, there’s a different intensity level to it,” said coach Tom Thibodeau. “Of course [Jimmy Butler] is game planned for, Karl’s game planned for, Wiggs is game planned for, so that makes it different also.”

The Wolves didn’t play particularly well in the preseason, but they aren’t too concerned about it. Anthony Tolliver admitted that the team should have been more focused in the preseason, but said the important thing about preseason games is not the result but rather what you take out of it. He’s confident that there will be a better product on the floor than there was during preseason.

“We never quite got everybody on the same page. And in this league, even in the preseason, if you don’t have everyone on the same page you’re going to get beat,” said Tolliver. “I think everybody’s minds have adjusted and bodies have adjusted. Going into tomorrow I feel good.”

Having Butler back will help as well. Despite the events of the last few weeks, both Tolliver and Thibodeau said that they have no doubt that Butler will give the team everything he has every night.

“It’s not in his DNA to slack,” said Tolliver. “He only knows one way, so no matter what’s going on off the court, whatever, once we get between those lines and he has our jersey on he’s going to play and everything’s going to be about winning.”

That’s the focus now—winning. Preseason is over, training camp is over, and after months of talk, it’s finally time to play the season. Every single team is 0-0 and the Wolves are confident in their ability to hang with every team every night. We’ll see you on Wednesday for the season opener. 

Quick Hits

  • Butler will be active on Wednesday night, but his playing time will depend on his conditioning.
  • Defense was a point of emphasis yet again today, especially in the second unit. The Wolves bench was one of the worst defensive groups in the league last year, and this year’s players are working hard to change that.
  • Derrick Rose is fitting in well with the second unit. His ability to get to the rim paired with Tolliver’s shooting ability has the potential to be deadly.