Short takes

• Philadelphia coach Brett Brown has Timberwolves envy, in particular this one stat: The young Wolves lead the league in minutes played by their starters, 651 minutes this season entering the weekend. “That’s an incredible privilege, a luxury, an opportunity to grow,” Brown said. “It reminds me of the old Oklahoma [City] team before they jumped into this thing in a real way. Give them 630 minutes and they played and learn and grow together, that’s very appealing. I’m very jealous. We’re trying to find that environment and grow our team.”


 Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau was none too thrilled earlier this season by his team’s showy dunking ability. Neither was he tickled with rookie Kris Dunn’s flashy dribble around Portland’s Shabazz Napier last week. “I don’t get wrapped up in that stuff,” Thibodeau said. “Just make a good player, make winning plays. When I go through a game, I want our guys to make winning plays. It’s not about a show. It’s about competition, and it’s about winning. Two points are two points. “I know what goes into winning. I hope we could get to the point where we’re less concerned about making it a show and more concerned about making it a competition.”

 TNT analyst Brent Barry on Houston superstar James Harden, who comes to Target Center on Wednesday: “There are flat-out advantages for a lefty in our league. You don’t see too many of them, and it’d difficult to defend what you don’t often prepare for. Add to that the fact that James Harden is a special player on the dribble. … You ask guys around the league, and many will tell you Harden is the toughest guy to cover.”