Preseason's over; now what for the Timberwolves?

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 27, 2013 - 12:30 AM

Here’s what we know — and don’t know — from a month preparing these remade Wolves for a season in which they intend to make the playoffs for the first time in a decade.

 

Preseason is history, and the Timberwolves’ season opener against Orlando is just three days away. Here’s what we know — and don’t know — from a month preparing these remade Wolves for a season in which they intend to make the playoffs for the first time in a decade.

 

Five Things They Know

1 This team CAN shoot it

There’s no need to wail or gnash your teeth anymore about the league’s worst three-point shooting team.

Kevin Love and his right shooting hand are back, healed and healthy. Kevin Martin’s arrival means the Wolves finally have a shooting guard who fits his position’s name. J.J. Barea is healthier and more effective than at any time since he signed in December 2011.

And guess who shot better during preseason than any of them? Ricky Rubio, the Wolves’ shooting percentage-challenged point guard who made more three-pointers (six) than he missed (five).

The Wolves shot 37.7 percent on threes during the preseason and weren’t shy about doing it, shooting 23 a game after they made just 30.5 percent last season.

“If we’re open, we’ll shoot ’em,” Barea said about a team still waiting for injured Chase Budinger to return, probably sometime in December. “If we shoot that much, we have to make some.”

2 This team can move the ball

Injuries galore last season forced Wolves coach Rick Adelman to abandon much of that “corner” offense that made him rich, famous and headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame someday. Instead, he was forced to rely too much on the pick-and-roll with the ball mostly in Rubio’s hands.

This season, expect to see more of Adelman’s offense, with Love as well as Rubio used as “facilitator” and Martin, Corey Brewer and eventually Budinger cutting without the ball. In preseason play, the Wolves were second in the NBA in scoring (104 ppg) and, believe it or not, first in fewest turnovers (15 a game).

“The ball movement has been really good,” Adelman said. “We can score points. When we’re playing together as a group, then I think we can be a pretty darn good team offensively.”

3 They’ll rebound

The Wolves have invested $120 million-plus in Love and Nikola Pekovic, a tandem that Flip Saunders, president of basketball operations, calls the “Bruise Brothers.” That combination presents its own defensive issues, considering that neither is a noted individual defender or shot blocker.

But Love is a rebounding savant, and Pekovic is the proverbial immovable object. Together, they anchor a team that Adelman is confident can go get the ball.

“We should be able to do that,” he said.

  • related content

  • Wolves release center Johnson to reach roster limit

    Saturday October 26, 2013

    The Wolves released center Chris Johnson on Saturday, a move prompted both by the strong play of Robbie Hummel and A.J. Price and by the team’s depth in the post.

  • Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love (42) looks to pass the ball during...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 6 Top 8th Inning
Miami 6
Philadelphia 6 Top 9th Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 3 Top 9th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Minnesota 6 Bottom 9th Inning
Baltimore 3
Pittsburgh 3 Bottom 6th Inning
St. Louis 2
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
Detroit - D. Price 3:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Seattle 0 Top 1st Inning
Oakland 0
San Francisco 2 Suspended
Colorado 2
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
San Diego - T. Ross
San Francisco - T. Hudson 4:40 PM
Colorado - F. Morales
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 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
(7) 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
(2) 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
(15) 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
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Calgary
Indiana 0 1st Qtr 10:00
Chicago 0
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