Rubio bringing out the best of Williams and asking for more

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 9, 2013 - 10:52 PM
hide

The Lakers defense knocked the ball away from the Wolves' Derrick Williams.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

As Ricky Rubio's game has returned to form he has helped Derrick Williams return to relevance.

It was obvious again in the Timberwolves' loss to the New York Knicks on Friday at Target Center, almost from the start. When Williams plays with Rubio, he is a different guy. Williams finished second on the team with 19 points on 8-for-17 shooting. And that includes an 8-for-11 performance on two-point shots. Of those eight baskets, five had assists, and four of them came from Rubio.

All of them involved Williams either running the floor hard or working hard to get into position for the pass.

"I think the idea in his mind is that he'll be rewarded," said assistant coach Shawn Respert, whose job description this season has included working 1-on-1 with Williams. "So he will make an extra effort at times, versus being reluctant, in his own mind, with a guy who might not have the ability get him the ball."

That, of course, has to change. It's a message that Respert, coach Rick Adelman and, more recently, Rubio have been trying to drive home.

"He's one of our top scorers on the team when he's playing hard," Rubio said. "And he has to learn that he has to play hard every game. He's working to be that player."

Williams is coming off one of his most productive two-game stretches of the season. He scored 15 points with a career-high 12 rebounds against San Antonio on Wednesday. Of his five baskets -- including a three-pointer early in the game an alley-oop dunk -- four came courtesy of Rubio assists.

Rubio has assisted on eight of Williams' 13 baskets the past two games, including another alley-oop Friday.

"I thing we complement each other," Williams said. "We're out there having fun with each other. Being out there with a pass-first point guard makes things so much easier. He's going to look for you. That's really what he does. He's been doing that his whole life, finding guys in positions to be successful. We have a chemistry on the court."

The injury-ravaged Wolves have been waiting for Williams -- the second overall pick in the 2011 draft -- to rise to the challenge with Kevin Love out. And it has been a frustrating, stop-and-start process. Williams has looked very good at times, but has disappeared at times as well.

There is no question his chemistry with Rubio is bringing out his best. Now his job will be to keep that effort level up no matter who he is playing with.

"Ricky has an instinct to know what to do with each player to make him feel a little more comfortable," Adelman said. "But our guys have to figure out a way to work hard to matter what. You saw the game Derrick had [Friday] night. But that has to happen every night for us."

That will be Williams' challenge going forward.

"He has been playing confident the last couple games," Rubio said of Williams. "And I like it. He's playing more aggressive. He can do a lot of things, but he has to believe in himself. He is one of the keys to this team. He has to believe in that."

Etc.

• Forward Andrei Kirilenko (quadriceps bruise) did not make the trip to Memphis and won't play on the two-game road trip. There is a chance he could return for Wednesday's home game with Utah, but Adelman said Kirilenko might not play again until after the All-Star break.

• Guard J.J. Barea sprained his left foot in the second quarter Friday but returned to the game. He was stiff and sore Saturday. He went with the team to Memphis but will be a game-time decision for Sunday's 5 p.m. game.

  • related content

  • FRIDAY'S WOLVES RECAP

    Saturday February 9, 2013

    The Knicks' star forward scored 12 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Knicks rally from an 11-point deficit to a six-point win.

  • Preview: Wolves at Memphis

    Saturday February 9, 2013

    Preview: The Grizzlies still are trying to find a rhythm after the team remade its roster with two trades. The first came on Jan. 22 when Marresse Speights, Wayne Ellington,...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland - WP: J. Tomlin 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: S. Downs 2
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 13
Los Angeles - LP: J. Wright 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 2
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 3
Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: Y. Herrera 2
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Portland 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close