Wolves work on improving defense before road trip

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 29, 2013 - 11:38 PM

The Wolves are in a tailspin. They have lost three games in a row and five of their past six.

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman sounded like a man more than upset with the effort his team put forth in the moments following Wednesday’s home loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Two days later, after a lengthy film session and a solid practice, Adelman had calmed down. At least a little. “We just went through some things to try to get back to the basics,” Adelman said on Friday. “We showed ’em film, and went through it on the court. We’ll see if it carries over.”

It had better.

The schedule only gets more difficult for the Wolves, mired in their first three-game losing streak this season and losers in five of their past six games. Immediately after practice the team boarded a plane for Dallas. They will play at Dallas and at Oklahoma City on Saturday and Sunday, fly to Mexico City to play San Antonio, then come home to play Miami. The Spurs (13-2) and Thunder (10-3) are first and third in the Western Conference, respectively, and the Mavericks (10-6) are sixth. Miami (12-3) is second in the East.

For the Wolves to stop their recent streak, their effort and defense will have to improve. And that’s why defense was the main course at Friday’s practice.

“Our defense was terrible [Wednesday],” point guard Ricky Rubio said. “We have to play harder. I mean, we know we’re not good defenders one-on-one. But we can be a good defense as a team. We showed that in our first few games. … We have to help each other out. We’re not talking.”

It remains to be seen whether one good practice can get the Wolves back to playing good team defense. But veteran Kevin Martin said nobody was about to panic.

“This is one of those times in a year that teams go through,” he said. “We worked on a lot of defensive stuff today, mixed in with a little offense. Defense is our weakness right now. So we have to turn it around here.”

Saturday’s game will be the 18th, the most the Wolves have ever played by the end of November. After playing at Oklahoma City on Sunday the schedule will relax, at least in terms of games played, with just four games in the ensuing 11 days.

An excused absence

Newly acquired defensive specialist Luc Mbah a Moute was excused from practice Friday so he could go back to Sacramento to finish his move back to the Twin Cities. He will join the team in Dallas.

The problem is he missed the team’s first real practice in more than a week, which will make it difficult to work him into the rotation in the short term.

“I don’t know how we’ll throw him into the game,” Adelman said. “I was hoping he’d be here today, but it didn’t happen. But he’ll probably get an opportunity, though. We’ll have to walk him through some things at the shootaround [Saturday].”

Etc.

• Adelman said he thought Rubio’s seven turnovers Wednesday — his most this season and one off his career high — were the result of trying to do too much. “He was trying to make things happen,” Adelman said. “That’s the way he plays. But he’s been playing pretty well lately. He just had a couple tough stretches in that game.”

  • related content

  • Gameday preview: Timberwolves at Dallas

    Friday November 29, 2013

    wolves gameday7:30 p.m. • At Dallas • American Airlines Center • FSN • 830-AMPreview: The schedule only gets more difficult...

  • Wolves coach Rick Adelman had a hard time watching his team’s defense — or more accurately, the lack thereof — on Wednesday against Denver. The Nuggets won 117-110.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 4
Miami - LP: C. Hatcher 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 5
Cleveland 4 Top 8th Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 7 Top 9th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Texas 13 Bottom 9th Inning
Houston 3
Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 2
Colorado 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Arizona 0
Oakland 0 Top 5th Inning
LA Angels 0
Los Angeles 1 Bottom 4th Inning
San Diego 1
Washington 4 Top 4th Inning
Seattle 2
Milwaukee 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
San Francisco 4
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 21 3rd Qtr 8:07
Houston 0
Colorado State 14 3rd Qtr 4:20
Colorado 17
UNLV 0 1st Qtr 0:13
Arizona 13
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 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
Houston 3 2nd Half 23:00
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 39 3rd Qtr 4:00
Phoenix 59
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