The first time Gersson Rosas’ old team came to town, he wasn’t here.
Rosas, the Timberwolves president of basketball operations, is in Europe doing some scouting. So he wasn’t here to see the Wolves play host to the Houston Rockets.
But you can bet Rosas and Houston coach Mike D’Antoni exchanged texts.
“We text every once in a while,” D’Antoni said before Saturday’s game. “He’s doing a great job.”
And it hasn’t taken too long for the Wolves, with their new emphasis on shooting more threes and fewer midrange jumpers, to look a lot like Rosas’ old team.
“He likes to play a certain way, and he has that philosophy and that’s what you’re supposed to do as a general manager, come in and make your mark,” D’Antoni said. “He did. I happen to agree with him. Whether that’s right or wrong, we’ll see. But they do a great job.”
Rosas first joined the Houston organization in 2003. Over the next decade and a half, he rose to the level of executive vice president of basketball operations before he was hired by the Wolves on May 1.
D’Antoni, of course, is one of the pioneers of the way the NBA is being played today, beginning with his tenure coaching Phoenix when Steve Nash was there, surrounded by a bunch of shooters. To hear D’Antoni talk, it was a style of play that, at first, met with a lot of resistance around the league.
Rosas didn’t have that problem here, implementing a style that has now gained acceptance.
“It’s simple now,” D’Antoni joked.
Graham, for starters
Treveon Graham started his 12th game Saturday vs. Houston. That means he has started all but one game for the Wolves at shooting guard — a position, Wolves coach Ryan Saunders said, that was expected to be rotated between several players when the season started.
“It’s just kind of worked out that way for us,” Saunders said.
Why? Graham is flexible on defense and is able to guard four positions.
“The spot is still pretty fluid,” Saunders said. “… You respect Treveon the more you watch him, the way he defends.”
There have been good days and tough nights; Graham was one of the players who tried to stop Washington’s Bradley Beal when he scored 44 points Friday night. And Graham has had a difficult start on offense, where he is shooting 35.6% and has made only six of 35 three-point tries. He is averaging 6.7 points.
• Josh Okogie was a late scratch because of left knee soreness.