ADVERTISEMENT

Wolves forward Derrick Williams

Morry Gash, Associated Press

Adelman seeks playing time for Williams

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA and KENT YOUNGBLOOD
  • Star Tribune staff writers
  • January 11, 2012 - 7:14 AM

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman decided after consecutive home losses last week to Memphis and Cleveland that he simply needs to get rookie Derrick Williams more playing time.

The question is: Just how will he do that every night?

So far, Adelman is figuring out a way, given that he still wants to play Williams mostly at a power forward spot already largely occupied by Kevin Love.

Williams played 30 minutes at Washington on Sunday, 28 minutes at Toronto on Monday and 22 more minutes in Tuesday's 111-100 loss to Chicago. He is developing an on-court relationship coming off the bench with fellow rookie Ricky Rubio.

You can see evidence of their growing familiarity just about nightly on the "SportsCenter" top dunks of the day.

"I've got to get Derrick on the floor," Adelman said. "That's hard to do if he's just playing the 4 spot because Kevin's playing so much there. He has the ability to be very explosive for us with his energy. Ricky and him just seem to have a nice chemistry. Ricky looks for him. If Derrick moves around, he's a handful for 4s because he can get to the basket, he runs the floor and he can shoot the three.

"The more we get him on the floor, the better off we'll be for those two guys to get experience."

Adelman called Williams one of the team's few players -- especially among the big men -- who can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. "He does have the ability to do things the other guys don't," Adelman said. "But you've got to get him experience. I see him getting more confident, a little more aware of what's going on. He so explosive, that's why I think he can get to the basket. He just has to learn to pick his spots."

Until Tuesday, Adelman played Williams and Rubio alongside each other on that second unit. Against the Bulls, he turned toward a unit to start the third quarter that paired reserves Rubio, Anthony Tolliver and Anthony Randolph with starters Love and Luke Ridnour, the group that led the Wolves back from 24 down in the second quarter to a tie score in the third.

Beasley hurting

Much of the swelling on his right mid-foot sprain has gone down, but Michael Beasley is still using a boot to get around. He still can't put any weight on the ball of his foot.

"I feel better, but it's still sore," he said.

Beasley said he will be re-evaluated after three or four more games. But, after trying to play through ankle sprains last season, he is determined not to rush his return.

"When the swelling goes down, I'll try to push it a little," he said. "I'll be smart about it, but I don't like sitting around and watching."

As Beasley talked before the game, Love walked past and said, "Keep the ball moving, Mike!"

That was a reference to the joke Love made after the victory in Washington on Sunday, when he attributed the Wolves' efficient ball movement to Beasley not being in the lineup.

"I didn't even see it," Beasley said of the comment. "[Love] actually was the first one to tell me about the joke."

Etc.

• J.J. Barea turned his left ankle late in Tuesday's game. He returned to action, but was sore afterward. The backup guard said he didn't think it would keep him from playing, but more will be known when the team returns to practice Thursday.

• Wolves rookie Malcolm Lee, recovering from knee surgery nearly two weeks ago, tweeted he recuperates like the superhero Wolverine, which apparently means it might not be another four weeks before he returns. Lee said he hopes to be back practicing in two weeks.

• Tuesday's game was the first of 12 this season to be broadcast in Spanish on La Mera Buena (107.5-FM). It's the ninth season in a row the Wolves have provided a Spanish-language broadcast.

© 2014 Star Tribune