Shved carves out niche in Wolves' rotation

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 21, 2014 - 6:35 AM

Improved play has led to more minutes and confidence for the Wolves' reserve guard.

Timberwolves reserve guard Alexey Shved was asked Monday why he has been so much more effective lately and why his numbers — and, seemingly, his confidence — have risen.

“If you want to play,” he said, “you have to do better.”

Could it be that simple? To be fair Shved, a Russian, still is not completely fluent in English. So something might have been lost in translation.

But the basic premise — play better to get more minutes — is solid.

And clearly Shved — who appeared close to falling completely out of coach Rick Adelman’s rotation earlier this season — is making a comeback.

In nine January games Shved is averaging 8.2 points off bench, more than double his December average (3.9). In that time he has made 47.6 percent of his three-pointers, going 8-for-17, hitting only two fewer than starting shooting guard Kevin Martin in that time.

In the past five games, the difference is even more striking. Shved is shooting 50.0 percent overall, 46.2 percent on three-pointers, has scored in double figures in four of five games and has six steals and seven assists.

This from a fellow whose minutes and production were so spotty earlier this season he had one or no baskets in 17 of his first 20 appearances.

“He’s more aggressive in the way he’s playing,” Adelman said. “I think one thing he really needs to do is attack the basket. When he has a full head of steam, he needs to finish there. He’s always looking to pass first. That’s why he missed a lot of shots at the basket. He has length. He has jumping ability. He can make the shot.”

Shved’s body language showed just how lost he was early in the season. He exhibits more confidence now and looks for his shot more. Even as the Wolves’ depth has improved with the return of Ronny Turiaf and Chase Budinger from injuries, Shved is playing more.

It is a testament to the patience Adelman showed in his second-year guard.

“You see things in practice and everything else,” Adelman said. “If you see a young guy who has talent? And there is a spot there, for minutes? You have to put him on the floor and you’ve got to let him make mistakes. Because that’s how they’re going to learn. I’ve always thought this was a game of mistakes. It’s just that you don’t want too many. But you have to try things, to work through it.”

At 6-6, Shved has the height to be effective at both ends of the court. But he does need to get stronger, and he does need to get better at being physical on defense.

But, after starting strong then tailing off last season, Shved is improving as the Wolves get to the halfway point of the season.

“I don’t know. Maybe I just started playing harder, every moment, every game,” Shved said. “I just want to play. And I need to play better, because I played so bad the first part of the season.”

Will it continue? As Budinger plays more and more and finds his rhythm, Adelman’s rotation figures to change. But there will always be a need for a shooting guard who can also handle the ball. So if Shved continues to play better, chances are he will play more.

It’s that simple.

“I don’t think he’s really looking for the fouls anymore, he’s just going in there, playing hard, looking to finish at the rim,” forward Kevin Love said of Shved. “He’s moving the ball, looking to be aggressive. We can all take note of that.”


  • related content

  • Youngblood: Wolves say that 'communication' is the key

    Monday January 20, 2014

    After Monday’s practice, with the team about to board a plane to Salt Lake City, coach Rick Adelman and star forward Kevin Love both talked about talking.

  • Wolves-Utah game preview

    Tuesday January 21, 2014

    8 p.m. at Utah • EnergySolutions Arena • FSN, 830-AMPreview: The Wolves open a four-game road trip — tied for...

  • Alexey Shved has scored in double figures in four of the past five games, making 50 percent of his shots (46.2 on three-pointers).

  • Being more aggressive has paid dividends for Alexey Shved, and he’s doubled his December scoring average this month.

  • wolves at utah • 8 p.m. today • TV: FSN (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which local team are you currently most excited about?

Weekly Question