Training Camp Day 4: Where Do The Pieces Fit?

We’ve been talking about it since the team traded Kevin Love.

There is a very unique blend of young players and veterans on this team.  And what might be even more unique is that all of these players are actually fighting for minutes. It’s not known how many players Saunders will utilize in a given game, but chances are he’ll have a main rotation of eight players, with other players filling in when foul trouble presents itself. Or will he?

“As a player, it’s your job, you determine how much you play,” Saunders said. “Your job is to… make it hard for me to determine who plays and who doesn’t.  I can see, as we’re practicing right now, that I’ll play more than eight.”

The most interesting battle looks like it will be at the wing position. There are veterans like Corey Brewer, Chase Budinger and Kevin Martin. Then you throw in Mo Williams, who Saunders wants to play at the 2. Then you have the youngsters. There’s Andrew Wiggins (of course), Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel and Glenn Robinson III.

The nice things about players like Brewer, Budinger, Williams, Wiggins, LaVine, Muhammad, Hummel and Robinson III is that they can play two or more positions if needed (obviously not at the same time. That would be impressive, though).

It’s interesting to see these players scrimmage against each other. The veterans know what is going on. These young guys are trying to earn some minutes. When minutes are on the line, everyone is forced to raise their level of play.

“There’s a lot of young guys who want to take the spot and there’s the vets who don’t want to let that happen,” point guard Ricky Rubio said. “… I’d say that’s good with a training camp.”

Saunders also thinks that competition might be a reason why the Wolves have been able to stay away from the injury bug early in camp. So far, only Nikola Pekovic and Robinson have missed a practice (both missed Thursday’s practice).

With only two more days left in Mankato, the question of ‘who will play more?’ hasn’t been answered yet. And for Saunders, that’s probably a good thing.

Brewer’s Smile In Jeopardy?

Near the end of Friday’s practice, Brewer was hit in the face and ended up chipping two teeth. Brewer left practice and was taken to Minneapolis to fix them up. Saunders believes Brewer will be back by Friday night before the team has dinner at owner Glen Taylor’s house.

Saunders joked that it might have been the worst thing that could have happened to Brewer as far as injuries go.

“That’s a major injury for him, because the way he smiles, (that) takes away all of that laughing and smiling.”

Quick Hits

  • Saunders said most of the young players have been learning at a pretty fast pace and nobody has really pulled in front of anyone else:  “I think they’re all pretty much been the same. I’ve been surprised on how they’ve picked things up pretty well. The veterans have helped them a lot.”
  • Today was head trainer Gregg
  • After practice, the team had a Farnam’s birthday. The team sang happy birthday to him. Pekovic has the voice of an angel.
  • Practice is over for the day, players now wrapping up a meeting w/ referees going over yearly "points of emphasis" video.

    — Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) October 3, 2014

As always, thanks for reading. We’ll have videos uploaded soon, along with a feature on Chase Budinger.