Wolves assistant coach Terry Porter referred to today's practice as their "best day" so far in Mankato. The team impressed the coaching staff as day three at Minnesota State came to a close for the Timberwolves.
There have been a few common themes throughout camp that have been discussed pretty frequently: defense, the Love/Rubio/Pek trio, and the new guys/15th spot.
More than any other topic, defense has probably been the one brought up the most, and understandably so.
It's been said about recent Suns and Warriors rosters, and now it's being said about the Timberwolves: "They can score with anyone, sure, but how are they going to defend?"
As mentioned yesterday by both Kevin Love and Rick Adelman, it starts with communication, something that assistant coach Terry Porter sees as a non-issue with the NBA's elite teams.
"The good teams in this league, it's a given, they're always talking," he said. "That's part of having ownership and knowing what your opponent is running."
Nikola Pekovic has been mentioned as being someone too quiet on the defensive end.
"That's something that just needs to become your habit. When it becomes a habit, then it's easy," Pekovic said. "But until then, they're going to repeat it every day 100 times."
This offseason, the Wolves brought in Ronny Turiaf and Gorgui Dieng, two guys that should be able to help Pek on the defensive end. Chris Johnson, who was brought in midway through last season, will bring some shotblocking ability to the table as well.
"They're really working hard, they're really trying to fit in with the team," Pekovic said of the team's new bigs. "So far everything's looking good."
The big with perhaps the highest defensive potential, Gorgui Dieng, has had a quiet camp, but has impressed Pekovic thus far.
"He's can help us, that's for sure. He's long and he can block shots and rebound."
Sounds pretty good to me.
A couple final notes:
- Rick Adelman was absent from practice to attend a funeral, but according to the Star Tribune's Jerry Zgoda, he should be back for the final day of camp tomorrow.
- According to Terry Porter, coach Adelman hasn't mentioned any plans to play the Love/Rubio/Pekovic trio any more than usual. Due to injuries to all three of them, they hardly saw any action together on the court last season.