Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman

Shari L. Gross, Star Tribune


Tendency for turnovers irritates Adelman

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA
  • Star Tribune
  • December 15, 2011 - 5:31 AM

New Timberwolves Rick Adelman hasn't minced any words since training camp began last week.

On Friday, he called the team's defense last season "horrendous."

On Wednesday, he was agitated by turnover-prone practices by a team that led the NBA in that category last season and said he's never seen a group that excels in that area like these Wolves.

"Everybody shared the wealth today," he said dryly after practice. "I just told them I petitioned the league to give us a point for every turnover, and they denied it. So we're going to have to play by the rules."

Guess what Adelman plans to emphasize in Thursday's practice?

That's right: Passing, ball handling, decision-making.

"We throw the ball all over the place," he said. "They're trying to make passes that aren't there. The way we play, you have to make decisions. We give them the freedom to do things, and if it continues this way I'm going to have to change things, where certain guys aren't allowed to do certain things.

"I think they've been very loose the way they've played, very casual with the way they take care of the ball. You can't do that. You're just not going to win playing like that."

Two more gone

The Wolves on Wednesday waived former Los Angeles Lakers forward Devean George and free-agent guard Will Conroy to get their training camp roster to 16 players.

George, who attended Augsburg and lives in Minnetonka, still hopes to be involved with the organization in a player development or mentoring role.

Don't look now ...

The Wolves searched free agency and other teams to add more of a classic shooting guard (Jamal Crawford, to name one) before they signed combo guard J.J. Barea.

Wes Johnson -- right now the leading candidate to start there this season -- knows they're probably still looking.

"I'm competitive," he said. "If they bring one in, they bring one in. I'm not worried about it at all. If they bring one in, we have more depth with the team. That helps us out. I'm not really worried with it."

Something in common

Barea's arrival in Minnesota means he now joins a very private club with new teammate Michael Beasley: Both were victims of Andrew Bynum cheap shots that got the big Lakers center suspended last season.

"I was thinking about that," said Barea, who got flattened in the Mavericks' clinching four-game sweep in the playoffs. "I was thinking he got hit, too."


• The Wolves will hold a free public scrimmage over the lunch hour on Monday at Target Center. The one-hour event starts at noon.

• That free scrimmage is part of the team's "12 Days to Tipoff" promotion that will offer community events leading up to the Dec. 26 opener against Oklahoma City. It kicked off Wednesday with a night at the Mall of America amusement park for more than 1,000 season-ticket holders.

• Barea didn't practice on Wednesday because his contract wasn't finalized until late afternoon, but he is expected to work with his new teammates for the first time Thursday in Mankato. The Wolves will practice in owner Glen Taylor's hometown Thursday and Friday and will have dinner at Taylor's house in between.

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