Miller time -- again. Big man returns to help Adelman

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 5, 2012 - 6:39 AM

Former player Brad Miller is back to do some coaching where the deer and the Timberwolves play.

MANKATO - Brad Miller just won't go away.

The former All-Star center who was traded twice after he announced his retirement last spring is back at Timberwolves training camp, invited by the coach he played for on three different teams.

Rick Adelman invited Miller to Mankato for a few days because he thinks his big guys will benefit from the wisdom Miller accumulated running Adelman's famed "corner" offense in Sacramento, Houston and Minnesota.

Miller, 36, accepted the offer thinking it will help him decide whether he wants to pursue a coaching career rather than just retire to his homes in Sacramento and Indiana, and because there's good deer hunting in southern Minnesota this time of year.

He awoke at 3 a.m. Wednesday and was hunting by sunrise. By noon, he was working with Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, Greg Stiemsma and others, showing them passing angles from the free-throw lane's "elbow" area and other nuances he learned during a 14-season NBA career.

"I played this game a long time, you'd think I learned a thing or two," Miller said. "I better have learned something."

Adelman said he isn't sure if Miller will return in a recurring coaching role after the team returns home to Minneapolis from Mankato on Friday.

"I don't know, I don't know where the deer are so I'm not sure when he's leaving," Adelman said. "He's such a smart player. With the group we have, a lot of stuff we're doing is what we did in the past and he's really smart about that. I thought he could help the big guys and make them understand what they have to look for."

Apparently, even two-time All-Star Love can learn a thing or two from another All Star.

"He even taught me a few things, tried to break me of a few bad habits," Love said. "He'd make a great coach, especially on this team. He's a great guy to get along with. He knows when to take it seriously and when to keep it light."

And Miller, still a country kid from Indiana, certainly is not a guy to overstate things.

"It's not too bad," he said when asked how he likes coaching.

His team

Wolves owner Glen Taylor watched most of Thursday's practice, chatting behind one basket with president of basketball operations David Kahn, before he headed to the Twin Cities for the Lynx's second-round playoff opener against Los Angeles.

On Wednesday night, the team's traveling party went to Taylor's Mankato home for an annual lasagna dinner.

"He has been terrific," Adelman said of Taylor. "He really means it when he says this is a family organization. He really tries to do that, tries to get to know the players, tries to get to know the families. It helps when an owner is that accessible to you. He always has been really good to me, listening, accepting input. It has been good, the whole year."

Staying healthy

Second-year guard Malcolm Lee watched the end of Thursday's practice on the stationary bike because of what the team called "groin tightness." Everyone else seemed to participate normally, including Stiemsma, who has practiced fully during camp's first three days after playing through foot injuries last season.

"My feet have felt good, almost surprisingly good," Stiemsma said.

Etc.

• Adelman praised Russian rookie Alexey Shved after Thursday's practice. "Alexey was really good today," he said. "He shot the heck out of the ball. He gives us another guy who can shoot it with range. There are just pieces we're finding out about, and we have to find out how we're going to use these guys."

• Adelman said Love and Pekovic are set as starters, but he expects to experiment with different combinations around them during a preseason that begins Wednesday against Indiana in Fargo, N.D.

• The Wolves will televise two preseason games on FSN and broadcast two on WCCO 830 AM. The radio games are Oct. 13 against Chicago at Target Center and Oct. 26 against Milwaukee in Green Bay, Wis. The FSN games are the Target Center games against Chicago and Israeli team Maccabi Bazan Haifa on Oct. 16.

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