Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Bullet points from the Wolves' first preseason game
The Timberwolves season is.....ok, well, still not officially under way. But real basketball with a scoreboard and everything is finally being played.
- The Timberwolves need to practice their free throws. Yeah.
- Rubio is out, and Ridnour didn't play tonight, but JJ Barea picked up tonight where he left off last season: playing great basketball.
- Kirilenko's jack-of-all-trades game was on full display tonight. The 1-4 shooting from the field and 1-4 shooting from the line was not so good. But finishing the night with 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 1 block is.
- Kevin Love had some rust on his shot, but finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds in under 30 minutes of playing time. He did seem alternately amused and perplexed by Tyler Hansbrough though....one of just a handful of guys in the league with a motor more active than his own.
- Alexey Shved showed some real ability to handle point guard duties. That's good for the Wolves, especially in Rubio's absence. Not so good for Will Conroy. He's good enough to earn a spot somewhere, but having four guys who can play point is overkill, even for this team.
- Chase Budinger played probably the best basketball of anyone in the game. 14 points. 2-4 from three, 4-6 from the line. He looked, by far, the most comfortable in Adelman's expanded system (no surprise) and showed he can play either wing position.
- Derrick Williams.....still has work to do if he wants to be a small forward....
- Brandon Roy looked good. He looked healthy, and asserted himself in the offense without taking it over. Nowhere near enough to even start concluding he's 100% and can adapt to being more of a role player, but tonight was encouraging.
- Don't read too much into the win. Indiana didn't play 3 of their 5 starters, and the other two both played less than half the game.
- I'm interested to see how this works for them, though. They seem determined to turn Paul George into a go-to player, while keeping Hibbert in the same sort of half-starter role he was in last year. Yet Hibbert's the one who's shown he can dominate both ends of the floor, and is getting paid a max contract now.