Anthony Tolliver found out he wouldn’t play in Wednesday’s game against the Pelicans — when he didn’t play in Wednesday’s game against the Pelicans.
He didn't play again Friday vs. Portland.
Tolliver said coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t mention to him that he would be out of the rotation with newcomers Robert Covington and Dario Saric getting time. But Tolliver said he was taking the benching in stride.
“Unfortunately there was not a lot of communication but at the end of the day I’m a professional,” Tolliver said. “I have to keep going and do my job. No one owes me anything. I don’t feel like I’m above anything.”
The last time Tolliver logged a DNP, or did not play (coach’s decision), was Oct. 25, 2017 when he was with the Pistons. But even though Tolliver wasn’t happy he stayed on the bench Wednesday, he did not want to let his personal disappointment disrupt the team.
“As long as I’m a part of this team, you won’t see me complaining about anything,” Tolliver said. “I know I’m fortunate and blessed. There’s millions of people who would die to just have a uniform, so I try and keep it in perspective.
“As a teammate, none of my teammates will ever feel any negative energy from me as far as me being negative toward them or toward the team just because of my personal circumstance.”
Thibodeau said his rotations may “take some time to get settled” as he figures out how best to utilize Covington and Saric, who came from the 76ers for Jimmy Butler.
“The thing is we’re sorting things out right now. You can’t play everyone and everyone has to stay ready,” Thibodeau said. “There’s guys that are deserving that are going to be out. If you try to play too many then everyone plays poorly. So you try to make a decision, gather information and it usually works out.”
Tolliver was averaging 5.6 points in 19.1 minutes per game. A three-point specialist, Tolliver was shooting 40 percent from behind the arc.
“It’s good to have [depth], because you know it’s a long season and you need everyone over the course of a season,” Thibodeau said. “He’s a great pro, so, just be ready.”
In the clutch
Derrick Rose was back in the lineup after missing Wednesday’s game against the Pelicans. With Butler gone, it means there’s a void on the Wolves over who would handle late-game possessions, which Butler usually dominated when he was here. Rose has had experience in that department, but he hesitated to say he would be the guy to step up in that situation and would like to see Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins get their cracks at making clutch shots.
“They’re the focus point of the team,” Rose said. “We know we’re going to them throughout the entire game. With taking those shots, you miss a lot too. People remember only shots that I hit or put us up one or two without having to go to overtime. … It’s going to take time for them guys to get acclimated to taking those shots and building that confidence.”
Sunday’s game vs. Memphis will be one of 42 NBA games the league is airing in prime time in Europe this season. The 2:30 p.m. tipoff time means European fans will be able to view the games at night. The league is broadcasting games this season to 215 countries and in 50 languages.