MANKATO - The Timberwolves broke training camp in Mankato on Friday afternoon and headed for home and Wednesday's preseason opener, but not before three-time All-Star Brandon Roy walked out of Minnesota State Mankato's Bresnan Arena declaring himself as healthy as when he arrived on Tuesday.
The Wolves practiced four hours that first day and at least three hours each of the next three days, and Roy said his worrisome knees felt just fine.
"I came here wondering in the back of my mind how my body would feel," Roy said, "and my body responded extremely well. For me, I'm going home with a positive, saying I got through four really tough days of basketball. I'm excited about that. I feel good, really good.
"Today I went through the scrimmage and probably played more minutes than any other scrimmage. That's a big sign. Of course, the body's tired, but the knees feel good."
Roy retired with Portland in December because of degenerative knees that have no cartilage left in them. He has embarked on a comeback after a lockout-shortened season away and after undergoing a medical procedure that Kobe Bryant also used to heal his hurting knees.
"So far, he has been fine," said Wolves coach Rick Adelman, who held Roy out of the end of a couple of scrimmages. "It's just a matter of him getting a feel for how long he can go. That's going to be his thing: When do you play him? How long can he go in games? What's his recovery time? So far, he's been through every drill and everything else."Chemistry class
Adelman experimented the past four days with a frontcourt combination of forwards Derrick Williams and Andrei Kirilenko. It's a pairing that might not have a true "3" or "4" -- small forward and power forward -- but rather two 3 1/2s.
"It's good because defensively Andrei can play a lot of different people and offensively they both can play two spots and they can mix it up a little bit," Adelman said. "We've been trying to get a feel for the combinations we can play. Those two guys against some people can be effective when they don't have a big banger out there. You definitely could play them with Kevin [Love, at center.]"Shootin' Shved
Russian rookie Alexey Shved impressed Adelman with his shooting the past four days, but Adelman said the test will be when opponents inevitably try to muscle him, starting Wednesday against Indiana in Fargo, N.D.
When asked for impressions how Shved has fared in his first NBA camp, friend and Russian national teammate Kirilenko said: "I know him, he doesn't need my impression. For me, he looks great. Especially for first year in NBA system, he's doing a great job."Looking up
Veteran guard Luke Ridnour has been through two long, losing seasons the past two years. But he left Mankato on Friday with an optimism he didn't have the past two training camps.
"It's just a different vibe, a different expectation for us," he said. "We believe we can be a good team. We have to still go and prove that, but overall I think everybody is excited about playing together."Etc.
• When asked what kind of shape his three Olympians are in after a long summer of basketball, Adelman said Kirilenko and Shved look fine. But about Love, he said, "I think Kevin needs to build back up his conditioning to the way it was before."
• Second-year guard Malcolm Lee sat out the end of Friday's practice, just as he did on Thursday, because of groin tightness.