Rick Adelman blasts Timberwolves for preseason malaise
Minnesota coach questions commitment to focus and intensity, guards' playmaking abilty as team stumbles in execution out of the gate.
It's preseason and most coaches don't take much away from performances. It's such a different situation, going from preseason to regular season, despite the ball bouncing the same way and the rims being the same height. It's just played differently. The common refrain is to never be bothered or overjoyed by what coaches see in their team's general performance, but to focus on certain mechanics of execution.
Well, Rick Adelman is bucking that, because he's pretty livid with how his Minnesota Timberwolves have played. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes that Adelman blasted his team both behind closed doors and in speaking with reporters about the team's uneven-to-downright-bad 2-2 performance in preseason thus far.
“They’ve got to figure out what they want to do as a team,” Adelman said. “I just told them, ‘What kind of season do you want?’ That’s really up to us to make what we want. They’ve got to figure out what they want to do as a team.”
He has not been impressed with a 2-2 preseason start forged in just six days.
Upset all week with a starting unit that has started games meekly, Adelman included everybody in Saturday’s postgame, locker-room scolding, even though the starters began the night by falling behind 11-4 early before all five again sat for the entire fourth quarter.
He criticized their lack of concentration and preparedness and lamented a second consecutive game when his team had as many turnovers as assists. On Saturday, it was an even 16 in each category, a sure sign his players are not moving and sharing the ball.
“I don’t understand,” he said. “Like I told them afterward, we’ve played two games here at home and we’re acting like we’re just going through the motions. We aren’t the San Antonio Spurs and we aren’t Miami. We act like we have plenty of time.”
“Awful, our guards went 3-for-whatever it was,” Adelman said, adding training-camp invitee Othyus Jeffers’ 1-for-1 night. “They’ve got to come in and they’ve got to make plays. It’s not just the guards. The shooting problems carry right to the same thing: What’s your mental attitude? How are you approaching the game? Are you really doing this thing all out or are you going through the motions?
“I know it’s the exhibition season, but we’re trying to get better and we really can’t get better if we don’t go out with better effort than we’ve shown.”
That guy does not sound happy.
The Wolves may be caught off guard by the fact that everyone's actually on the floor for once after injuries have derailed their last two seasons, off of cliffs and into canyons of fire below. The big issue with scoring is that the team is very likely going to take a defensive step backwards with the loss of Andrei Kirilenko and the addition of Kevin Martin in free agency. That means the Wolves are going to have to score quite a bit.
Their overall execution has been sluggish, but maybe they're just getting ramped up and cautious with their health. It's good to see Adelman caring about the little things, but you can't get too concerned, right? I mean, it's preseason... right?
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