Wittman on Wolves' Love: 'The basketball IQ was there from the beginning'

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 20, 2013 - 6:05 PM
hide

Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) and Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) collide while going after the ball.

Photo: Chuck Myers, Mct

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

– Five years after he coached a rookie named Kevin Love, you almost could have sworn you heard Washington coach Randy Wittman yell the same thing as he did long ago every time the Timberwolves now two-time All Star attempted a three-pointer Tuesday night at a very quiet Verizon Center:

No!

“I’m past that now,” Love said Tuesday. “That was a long time ago.”

Love made three of four three-point attempts and scored 16 points in Tuesday’s first quarter alone on his way to a 25-point, 11-rebound night in a 104-100 Wizards victory.

Love entered Tuesday’s game third in the NBA in scoring (26.8 ppg) and second in rebounding (13.6 rpg).

“You can’t ever predict the numbers like that,” said Wittman, who coached Love for his rookie year and the first six weeks of his second season. “But you knew the basketball IQ was there from the beginning. At this level, if you have the physical tools and then the mental part that goes with it, you can take that a long way. We’ve seen that with Kevin. He’s very adept at understanding how you’re playing him, and he adjusts to it. That’s what makes him so difficult.

“You can’t play him the same way all the time. You have to change up what you’re doing, keep him thinking or he’ll learn from what you’re doing and make you pay for it.”

 

Eight men out

Wolves coach Rick Adelman continued to play basically an eight-man rotation Tuesday, keeping at least one starter and often two on the floor when he subbed J.J. Barea, Dante Cunningham and Robbie Hummel into the game. Reserve Alexey Shved played six first-half minutes and third-year forward Derrick Williams didn’t play at all once again.

“Nobody’s playing more than 35 minutes,” Adelman said, referring to this starters.

“So it’s not like guys are playing 40 minutes, but I think over the course of a season — like this week with five games in seven nights, we’re going to have to get other guys into the game.”

Defining his role

Adelman clearly has decided he prefers the little things Hummel, a former second-round pick, does over former No. 2 overall pick Williams when he needs to give Corey Brewer a rest at small forward.

Hummel played 22 minutes Tuesday and made two three-pointers on his way to a 7-point, 6-rebound night and was on the floor late in the game.

“We’re just looking for him to come in and give us some stability,” Adelman said regarding Hummel. “He really knows how to play.”

 

Reunion

A Wolves-Wizards game remains something of a family affair: Wolves basketball boss Flip Saunders coached the Wizards not that long ago, and his son Ryan remains a Washington assistant coach. Wolves GM Milt Newton last summer was hired away from the Wizards, where he had been a front-office executive for years.

Wizards assistants Don Zierden and Sam Cassell have Wolves/Saunders connections as well, and Wittman coached under Saunders in Minnesota and Washington and still lives in Minnesota in the summer.

“Once you’ve been in it 30 years, I lost that fuzzy feeling,” Wittman said about playing the Wolves. “I’ve been to a lot of different teams. Obviously, I have a home there and people I know.”

Former Wolves swingman Martell Webster started for the Wizards. He made five three-pointers, including a big one in the final minute, on his way to a 17-point night.

And Wolves reserve guard A.J. Price played for Washington last season and he thought he’d return this season, but the Wizards never made him an offer last summer.

“They never did, which is kind of surprising,” Price said. “What a GM does is his decision, you know what I mean?

“I control only the things I have control over.”

Etc.

• Wolves rookie Shabazz Muhammad missed his third consecutive game Tuesday because of a sprained ankle. He has played little even when he has been healthy.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 8 1st Qtr 2:39
Philadelphia 28
Portland 17 1st Qtr 2:57
Cleveland 20
Sacramento 6:30 PM
Toronto
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 7:00 PM
Houston
Denver 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Atlanta
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
New York
Charlotte 7:30 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Utah
Washington 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Toronto 6:30 PM
New Jersey
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Washington
Chicago 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Temple 20 1st Half 7:52
UCF 14
Winthrop 21 1st Half 8:13
Coastal Carolina 22
Lafayette 16 1st Half 7:58
Colgate 19
Northeastern 10 1st Half 9:59
Drexel 7
Wake Forest 19 1st Half 9:52
Florida State 8
Rhode Island 17 1st Half 8:47
Fordham 18
Delaware 24 1st Half 8:14
James Madison 19
South Carolina 15 1st Half 8:27
LSU 20
New Hampshire 19 1st Half 8:24
Maine 3
Seton Hall 20 1st Half 7:43
Marquette 20
Binghamton 17 1st Half 9:41
UMBC 10
American Univ 21 1st Half 8:26
Navy 20
Elon 8 1st Half 8:56
UNC-Wilmington 25
Wright State 24 1st Half 7:45
Oakland 15
Minnesota 18 1st Half 7:53
Penn State 22
Duquesne 15 1st Half 8:50
Richmond 33
SMU 13 1st Half 7:51
South Florida 16
Hartford 18 1st Half 7:51
Stony Brook 14
Albany 9 1st Half 7:30
Vermont 17
Hofstra 13 1st Half 8:09
William & Mary 32
UNC-Asheville 20 1st Half 7:45
Longwood 13
Radford 6:30 PM
Char Southern
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 6:30 PM
Notre Dame
Texas Tech 6:30 PM
Oklahoma
Oregon State 7:00 PM
Arizona State
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Drake 7:00 PM
Bradley
Lehigh 7:00 PM
Bucknell
Rice 7:00 PM
Houston
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
Creighton
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Memphis
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Purdue
Kansas 8:00 PM
TCU
Oregon 9:00 PM
Arizona
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Washington
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 26 1st Half 9:21
Binghamton 10
Akron 16 1st Half 7:42
Ohio U 28
Ball State 21 1st Half 7:28
Miami-Ohio 11
Memphis 12 1st Half 9:23
Cincinnati 14
East Carolina 6 1st Half 12:31
(2) Connecticut 26
Murray State 19 1st Half 6:38
Eastern Illinois 21
Kent State 22 1st Half 7:52
Central Michigan 22
UT Martin 28 1st Half 6:29
Tennessee St 21
Eastern Michigan 18 1st Half 9:58
Western Mich 23
Bucknell 18 1st Half 7:21
Lehigh 20
Indiana 12 1st Half 7:39
Michigan State 21
Colgate 22 1st Half 9:08
Lafayette 12
Fordham 21 1st Half 5:53
Davidson 17
Duquesne 19 1st Half 6:39
St Bonaventure 15
George Mason 19 1st Half 8:08
VA Commonwealth 25
Detroit 11 1st Half 7:54
Youngstown St 20
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Kansas State
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Denver 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Austin Peay 7:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Kansas 7:00 PM
Iowa State
Bowling Green 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Penn State 7:00 PM
Minnesota
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
San Diego State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nevada 9:00 PM
UNLV
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: Which local team is currently the biggest disappointment?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close