Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Wolves, pre-game

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves pre-game, On the road, Rookies Updated: February 19, 2012 - 5:46 PM

 It's pretty clear that both coaches involved in today's Timberwolves-Philadelphia game think very highly of each other.

Greetings. Kent Youngblood here. I'll be covering the game tonight, and Mr. Zgoda will pick the team up tomorrow.

Jerry had a nice story today about the job Doug Collins has done with the 76ers who, though they're struggled a  bit of late, enter this game atop the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference. Both Collins and Wolves coach Rick Adelman have been in the game for a while, and both were asked to talk about the other in pre-game meetings with the media. Here's what they had to say:

First, Collins on Adelman: "Coach Adelman's teams have always been able to score," he said. "They execute very, very well. He runs an offense that guys get very comfortable with. . His big men have always been a big part of what he's done. Like in Sacramento with Brad Miller, Vlade Divac and Chris Webber; high-post, passing, shooting, dribble hand-offs. And he's given Ricky Rubio the ball and the room to make plays, play in the open court, play to his strengths. Rick is a great coach, and David Kahn, to be able to add Rick, with this young team that is building? Rick's done a great job."

And here is Adelman on Collins: "He's got a good basketball mind," he said.  "He's very sharp, and I think he's a hard worker. When you get a team like this that's very young, a lot  of young guys, he's going to give them an opportunity to succeed. I think that's what he does."

In other pre-game news:

--Adelman talked about -- and I will write more about it in Monday's paper -- how he expects teams to start doubling Nikola Pekovic more with the success he's had. Actually, he expects both Pek and Kevin Love to get extra attention. As a result, both of the big guys will have to be aware of double teams and be ready to pass the ball out of the post to the open man.

--Thanks to Brad Miller, there was a little bit of rookie hazing going on Sunday. In the locker room, Miller put children's backpacks in the lockers of the three rookies -- Derrick Williams, Malcolm Lee and Ricky Rubio. They will be expected to bring 'em on the road at least up to the All Star break. Williams got a pink Princess backpack, Lee got a pink Hello Kitty backpack and Rubio got a purple one with Justin Bieber's picture on it. 

Trust me, none of the rookies seemed thrilled. Said Adelman: "That sounds like Brad."

--Adelman said there were no changes to the starting lineup or rotation planned for tonight's game.

 

that's about it for now. I'll get back to you after the game.

 

 

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