Training Camp Day 1

Timberwolves Head Coach Rick Adelman

Adelman: “I liked their attitude and the way they competed. They’ll learn to make free throws in that last drill. You want to see how they’re going to play. I don’t think they’re conditioning is bad, but I think that’s something were going to… maybe scrimmage more.”

Question: How long have you done that last drill?
Adelman: “Oh a long time. Rather than just make teams run…”

Q: Can you sense some of their youthful energy?
Adelman: “Yeah, I think we had a good meeting. The guys’ attitude is good. We just have to keep going each practice.”

Q: First practice with Rubio, what were your impressions?
Adelman: “I think he did really well. He can really pass the ball. I was able to see different things that he can do. We’re going to tweak things with different people. I think the biggest thing was the spacing. They have to understand the spacing and timing that we need. I like the way he handles the ball. I like the way he defends. I think he has to be careful with his hands defensively.

Q: When are you going to start putting in your sets?
Adelman: “Well we did a little bit today, our transition offense… It was just to get them used to where people should be. We’re a long ways from that.”

Q: Would you like to add a couple more vets? Is there a chance to add maybe another?
Adelman: “I hope so. We’re out there looking all the time, but ya know, what we saw today, we saw guys we weren’t used to. We saw what they can do. They have to play with a purpose and play consistent, with a purpose at both ends of the court. It’s the defense and making good decisions. You just can’t throw the ball away, and that’s what we did today a number of times.”

Q: Do you have any specific needs?
Adelman: ”Right now from what we’ve seen, our wings have to be able to handle the ball better. They have to be able to be playmakers. I think all these guys have to learn to make the extra pass; don’t force the issue. That’s recognition. Seeing what is there and understanding that’s not there, go to the next option. They’re not ready for that yet. They looked at the first option and forced the issue. You can’t do that. We have to improve these guys with their decision making and ball handling.”

2011-12 Media Day Transcript

Timberwolves Head Coach Rick Adelman

Question: What has this off-season been like not having to talk to the players for such a long time? How did you spend your time during it?
Adelman: “Well it was really difficult. I think the thing that made it so difficult was that you never knew when they were going to come to an agreement. I always knew it was going to happen - quickly whenever it came together. They say 'oh you know they had good talks.’ I basically spent most of my time in Oregon, where we lived, just waiting for something. It was kind of like you're just living in the unknown. We couldn't talk to the players or sit them down one on one. We'll have an opportunity to do that with them now. It kind of gets you behind the eight ball, but my experience you really don’t know players until you get them on the court. You put them in situations and see what their skills are and everything else and get a chance to interact with them. I think that’s what our biggest challenge will be as a group from the coaching staff to the players. We're all going to have to figure out a way to build a trust here in a short period of time. A lot to do in a short period of time."

Q: What did you see in the roster that made you want to say, "Yea I want to try that"?
Adelman: “I knew they had a lot of young players. When we played them last year I was surprised how… I thought they should have won more games. But you're not here, you're not coaching them, you don’t know why things happen. The last two years in Houston we went from having two superstars, to being one of the favorites, to basically having a young group, to have guys take over roles that they weren't brought in to do. But I found I really enjoyed the experience of coaching that group because you saw the growth of them. You saw them grow into roles, into leadership roles. We had a lot of people come in and out there, and I really enjoyed that experience. I thought ‘you always want to have a really talented team; you want to have a chance to win everything,’ but I also thought ‘you know, can we turn this thing around?’ I think we can certainly build something that's positive and moves forward. That really excites me."

Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams

Q: How does it feel to be here?
Williams: "It's finally here. Since June 27th I've been waiting and just trying to get these practices started. As soon as you get these practices started, you know it's right around the corner. With the lockout and stuff like that, the season is literally next week. But, I think we'll be ready. We have a lot of basketball IQ."

Q: Have you had a chance to talk to Rick [Adelman]? What have some of the conversations been?
Williams: "Not too much, haven't really seen him like that, I've only been here a couple of days. But I'll see him a lot today."

Timberwolves forward Kevin Love

Q: Rick said that he met with you a little bit and were able to have a conversation. What was it like and how did feel to sit down and talk basketball with him? What did you discuss?
Love: "It was great. We just covered the basics - what the year’s going to be like, talked personnel, just covered the basics. Obviously, the foundation that we have here, my role with the team, how practice is going to go, what he expects from me and the team throughout camp and just a lot of the basics."

Q: He mentioned that he wants you to play a little center at times. Is that something that you guys have talked about yet?
Love: "Yea we talked about that. We probably met for an hour and that was definitely one of the things that was brought up."

Q: Do you expect to have a defensive-heavy focus in training camp?
Love: “Yes, that was actually the first thing that he touched on in the meeting. Especially with a young team and the coaching staff that he brought it, I expect that that'll be the first thing we touch on and improve on by leaps and bounds, quickly."

Timberwolves center Darko Milicic

Q: What'd you do all summer? How'd your training go? What kind of shape are you in?
Milicic: "I put a lot of work in. I really tried to stay in shape because we didn't know when the season would start. I'm getting news from here, ‘it's going to happen, it's not going to happen.’ The NBA doesn't exist so I kept going, I kept working. I'm not going to say it's enough, you know. I put a lot of work in. I hope it's going to be enough for me to be in great shape in the beginning of the season."

Q: Did you change what you did? You said you might change your work out a little bit?
Milicic: “I did everything the same, I just played more. A lot of players in my city, they have a job too. Because a lot of American players came to Europe, we got together and played a lot of five-on-five. We got together a lot, do some running and lifting. I feel good, but I know the first few days are going to be tough because of two practices a day and running up and down. But I have a good base."

Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio

Q: Does it finally feel real now Ricky?
Rubio: "Yeah, when I get to the locker room and I see my jersey, I was taking pictures of it and sending it to my friends to tell them, "I'm finally here and that I can play in the NBA!"

Q: Rick [Adelman] was saying, he doesn't really know what to expect from you. Do you really know what to expect from him as a coach?
RR- "No, I just met him for the first time five minutes ago. He said that he wants to talk to me to see what we can do together to help the team. You know, I really don't know him as a person but I've seen him in Sacramento and all of those teams and he did a great job over there."

Timberwolves guard Wayne Ellington

Q: How does it feel to be back and how did you spend your time during the lockout?
Ellington: "It feels great to be back. It has been a long off-season and I spent my time just trying to get better… a lot of time in the weight room, a lot of time ball handling and a lot of time doing repetitive jump shots so that I can become more and more consistent."

Q: How do you see yourself fitting in with this new coaching staff? Do you see anything to expect yet?
Ellington: "Going back to look at Coach Adelman's teams in the past, there's a lot of movement of players without the ball, a lot of team oriented basketball and I think I'll definitely fit in well."

Timberwolves guard/forward Lazar Hayward

Q: Coach Adelman was saying, he doesn't really know what to expect from you guys until he really gets you guys on the court and is able to work with you there. Do you know what to expect with him and the coaching staff and what they're going to ask you to do?
Hayward: "Well you know, we can't really pinpoint it right now, but we know his history and that he's a really good coach and he likes to play fast, he loves to play uptempo. His coaching career speaks for itself and you can try and guess on what type of a coach he'd be."

Q: Is this especially difficult timing for you to go through this lockout? They say that players make that jump going in to that next summer. Do you feel that you've put that work in that needed to be done?
Hayward: "Yeah, I just thought with the lockout being so long, it gave me more time to work on who I was as a player as well as who I am a person. Just working on things off the court, you know I did a lot of pilates, I did a lot of yoga, trying to work on all facets of my game and trying to be at the top of my game when we do start."

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