Finally the Wolves got a chance to practice.
The team’s schedule has made that difficult of late. And, with a roster filled with young players, interim coach Sam Mitchell says there is no coincidence that the team’s defense has fallen off in recent games.
“When you have a young team and you don’t have a chance to practice, you have slippage,” Mitchell said after Monday’s workout, after which the Wolves boarded a plane for Miami. “So, today, we had a chance to work on our defense, shore up some things. Hopefully, with a day of practice, it will get better.’’
The Wolves began that season pretty tight defensively, and were one of the better teams in the league in opponents field goal percentage after the first handful of games.
But that has changed. The Wolves have allowed opponents to score an average of 112 points and shot 51.5 percent over the last five games. Sunday, Memphis came into the game as the worst-shooting team in the league. But the Grizzlies shot 56.3 percent.
Here are some other items from today’s practice:
--Point guard Ricky Rubio, who has missed the last four games with a left hamstring strain, took full part in practice. “He looked good,” Mitchell said. “But we’ll see how he feels after practice, and how he feels tomorrow.’’
--After practice, for the better part of an hour, Kevin Garnett worked with Zach LaVine and Nemanja Bjelica on their pick and roll defense. It was a rather intense, quite vocal lesson from Garnett.
“He does that all the time,” LaVine said. “But that was more intense right there. That was good. He’s suck a help on defense. He has so much knowledge. It’s a blessing to have him around.’’