The reason rookie Robbie Hummel has found himself playing so often recently is simple, according to Wolves coach Rick Adelman.

Hummel doesn’t try to do what he can’t do.

Sounds simple, but it isn’t. How many times have you seen a player get into trouble trying to do too much when given precious playing time? Forcing shots, maybe. Or trying to do too much with the ball.

Not Hummel. And that’s why Adelman likes him so much.

“He’s a solid player, and he’s been that way since the first day of camp,” Adelman said. “He’s always in the right spot. He understands how to play the game, and he doesn’t force anything. He stays within himself. He does what he can do, and doesn’t try to do anything else. That’s why he’s so effective.’’

Hummel’s path to the NBA has been rather long. He endured two torn right ACL’s and surgeries during his college career at Purdue, and he played in Spain last season.

Hummel impressed Adelman from the start of camp this fall. He’s a willing defender who plays well in a team defensive scheme. He rebounds well and has a good outside shot.

With Kevin Martin out ill, Adelman put Hummel in the starting lineup against Cleveland Wednesday, and Hummel responded with 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting — he hit two of four three-pointers — with four rebounds and an assist in a 124-95 victory.

Saturday against Boston he was the first player off the bench when starting small forward Corey Brewer picked up two early fouls. Hummel ended up playing 20½ minutes, scoring eight points with five rebounds, an assist and a block.

Back to the line

One of the more encouraging things about center Nikola Pekovic’s 20-point, 12-rebound game against Boston was that he got himself back to the free throw line, making four out of five attempts.

It’s not a big thing, but those were his first free throws in three games, which seems odd considering the position he plays and the physical way he plays it.

“It’s very uncommon,” Adelman said. “He’s strong in there, [the officials] allow a lot of contact. But even before he gets the ball he gets beat on. He’s just going to have to play through it, and we’ll keep sending in film.”

Love’s coat drive

Kevin Love will again partner with The Salvation Army to host a coat drive. Starting Saturday and running through Dec. 18, fans are asked to bring new or gently used coats to the Target Center box office. Love personally will deliver all donations. Love has purchased tickets to the Wolves games Jan. 1 (vs. New Orleans) and Jan 8 (Phoenix). People donating coats will receive a pair of tickets to one of those games on a first-come, first-serve basis (limit four tickets per family).