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Wolves Back From Long Road Trip

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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The Wolves returned to practice Tuesday after more than two weeks on the road to San Diego and China for training camp and preseason, respectively.

For a team full of new faces, it was a bonding experience. And a trip in which the Wolves went 2-1, with wins over the Lakers and Warriors.

“Everybody’s good right now,” Wolves wing Jimmy Butler said after practice. "(It’s a) long season obviously, but right now everyone’s gelling just fine… Everyone’s out there competing. There are things we can get better at.”

In three preseason games, Butler was as good as advertised. He only played 22 minutes per game, but he averaged 13.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Per 36 minutes, that’s a line of 22.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists.

The Wolves have just over a week to get ready for their first regular season game against the Spurs in San Antonio.

The team has 10 new faces on its roster, but Nemanja Bjelica, who is entering his third season with the club, feels good about where the team is at. Bjelica was able to take a slight “break” from San Diego to return to Minnesota for the birth of his child.

“Yeah, I mean we spent a lot of time together. I was lucky because San Diego, I flew back for a few days,” Bjelica said. “Those guys were out there for two, three weeks almost. We did a great job and now we’re here.”

Bjelica is healthy after missing the end of last season with a fractured foot. The team eased him in during training camp, but he’s played 20 minutes per game in preseason, hinting at the fact that he’ll have a big role off the bench for this team. In three games, Bjelica averaged seven points while shooting 42.9 percent from the 3-point line.

“He’s shooting the ball,” Gorgui Dieng said. “Bjeli’s a smart player. He knows how to play. He’s unselfish.”

The Wolves will be back at it Wednesday with an earlier practice. You can expect videos and more from practice.