You’d think having his guys watch the tape of the victory in Atlanta Nov. 9 would be a perfect teaching tool. The Wolves won that night. They built a 34-point lead, then lost it. They fell behind in the fourth quarter, but finished the game on an 11-0 run to win.
So, in one 48-minute tape you have it all. What to do, what not to do.
But Wolves coach Sam Mitchell was having none of it after Tuesday’s practice. “It’s never helpful when you give up a 30-point lead,” he said. “We turned the ball over, didn’t make shots, stopped doing the things we did to get the lead. You don’t want teaching point after giving up a 30-point lead.’’
Perhaps. But Wednesday the Wolves host the same Atlanta team whose seven-game winning streak was broken in that Nov. 9 game.
And the Wolves are coming off their first home victory of the season, Monday against Philadelphia. Actually, according to Kevin Martin, that first home win is the biggest thing.
“All the pressure was on us,” Martin said. “We didn’t want to be the team to keep losing at home. And against a team that hadn’t won yet. All the pressure was on us, and we got through it. We got the monkey off our backs. Now we have a great opportunity tomorrow.’’
Here are some notes from today’s practice:
--Both Mitchell and Martin said they hoped the way Martin ended Monday’s game will mean the end of his shooting slump. Martin made three of four second-half shots and scored nine of his 11 points in the final two quarters. The big shot, of course, was his three-pointer with 28.4 seconds left that put the Wolves up five.
--Nemanja Bjelica, who missed the last two games with a bruised knee, did some light work in Tuesday’s practice. He is listed as questionable, again, for tomorrow.
--Mitchell said Ricky Rubio, who turned his left ankle Monday, is OK and practiced fully.
--The Timberwolves hosted 100 soldiers and veterans at an open practice session before the team’s regular practice Tuesday.
The day began with the soldiers being served brunch by Wolves coaches and players wives and significant others in the Mayo Clinic Square skyway. Then, in the facility, the soldiers met the players and participated in some shooting matches, then watched much of the team’s practice.
I asked Martin if he’d gotten beaten in a game of HORSE. “No, but they beat (Karl-Anthony Towns) and Tyus (Jones),’’ Martins aid. “I don’t know if they let ‘em win. But they did get beat.’’