After the Timberwolves' latest loss Sunday to the Suns, guard Ricky Rubio said the Wolves "need" the upcoming All-Star break.
Before they get that break, there's one more game left to play Wednesday night against Charlotte at Target Center. But the schedule makers did grant the Wolves two days off between games, which is a rarity during a season like this with a compressed schedule.
Tuesday was a practice day, but Monday was a day to get away for a bit, coach Chris Finch said.
"Just kind of separate from what has really been an emotional week in a lot of ways," Finch said. "Tough week. Two back-to-backs and then of course all the change. You got to remember, a lot of these guys that are young have not experienced these types of things in the NBA yet. I do believe there was a little bit of shock value going on."
Tuesday's practice was an attempt for Finch to install a sense of normalcy along with some of his concepts. It was just the second practice the Wolves have had since Finch took over, and practices are few and far between this season.
"I'm trying to set a tone from the beginning of practice," Finch said.
He mostly has worked on the offensive side of the ball, he said, with associate head coach David Vanterpool running the defense. He also is trying to have the Wolves not dwell too much on their 7-28 record.
"You can't be results based. That's the thing we've got to try to focus away from now," Finch said. "We all want the results. I know it's been a tough run here. We just got to try to build habits. The other day I just asked them to compete a little bit harder through all the plays, to make the small plays, stay in pursuit of the ball, challenge every single shot, make the extra rotation. I thought we did that for the most part."
Finch also said he sensed he has a team that cares and that mistakes aren't for a lack of effort.
"If they don't understand [something], there's sometimes a lag time," Finch said. "If they don't care, that's a bigger issue. But I don't feel that with these guys [we're] just kind of cleaning up things, making things as simple as possible. That takes away that lag time and that indecision. … These guys care. I've been around them enough [to know] that they definitely care."
Finch liked how the Wolves were "trading punches" with a good Phoenix team Sunday except for one stretch late in the third quarter and early in the fourth when Phoenix went on a 16-1 run. Finch used the first four games for what he called "intense evaluation" and said he has a better feel for what the team's rotations might look like coming out of the All-Star break, along with changes he wants to make to the offense and defense.
"Some of the things we did [Tuesday] were going to be the foundation of what we do when we get together after the break for those couple days," Finch said.