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Wolves coach Rick Adelman

Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

Adelman wants more than just pick-and-roll offense

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD
  • Star Tribune
  • February 3, 2012 - 12:05 PM

Wolves coach Rick Adelman loves the pick and roll. Really, he does. But it is time for his team to diversify.

That was the message during practice Thursday. Nearly the entire session was spent working on the half-court offense.

"We're not getting enough out of our half-court offense," he said. "We're not patient in it, and we're relying too much on pick and rolls. We have to get more baskets out of our half-court offense. So that's all we did today. We told them, 'This is what we want to do. We've got to do it consistently.' That's going to make the game easier for us."

This had been coming for a while. The combination of a shortened post-lockout training camp and the compressed schedule has limited playing time. That the Wolves have several new faces, young players and have dealt with injuries hasn't made it any easier.

Indeed, Adelman had to back off a little early in the season when the Wolves, struggling to learn his offense, committed too many turnovers. That decision was made easier given how well point guard Ricky Rubio works the pick and roll.

"Pick and rolls are great," Adelman said. "But you have some other answers."

Kevin Love agreed.

"It's something we need to get better at," he said. "It's good we were able to practice it a bunch. We were happy to get at it."

Making changes?

It appears Adelman is more concerned with how his players are executing than with the idea of changing his starting lineup. On Thursday, Adelman said he and his coaches had discussed making some changes. As of the end of practice, he hadn't decided on any.

"What [players] were good last night in the first half?" he asked, referring to Wednesday's loss to Indiana. "Someone has to separate themselves to change things up. I mean, one game a guy does great, and the next he doesn't. In my experience, once you start making changes, and if it goes the other direction, then what do you do with that then?"

Adelman said the one player who has separated himself is Nikola Pekovic. He has played consistently well of late with Darko Milicic struggling because of an illness; Milicic, who took a knee to his thigh Wednesday, was unable to practice Thursday. And that means Pekovic could find himself with another start Friday in New Jersey.

But now that more and more players are getting healthy, Adelman said he will take a hard look at his rotation and make some decisions soon.

Etc.

• Love said he's comfortable with the idea of Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin as the starting forwards for the Western Conference All-Star team. "They're fun to watch, they're fan favorites," he said. "If you don't like watching those guys play, you don't like basketball."

• Adelman sounded as though he's getting a little frustrated with Milicic. "Sooner or later, they play or they don't play," he said. "You have to play with the people you have who are healthy. He's been really up and down, and has had different injuries."

• Malcolm Lee looked good scrimmaging Thursday and should start his rehab in the D-League next week.

• Love on his decision to let his beard grow: "David Kahn doesn't like it, so I'll keep it."

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