Wolves fall to Pacers in last night's preseason game and more
Both teams are hoping that their blossoming third-year big men will change all of that sooner rather than later.
Roy Hibbert had 27 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Pacers to a 128-124 overtime preseason victory over Kevin Love's Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
Love had 28 points and 11 rebounds and Sebastian Telfair added 19 points and six assists for the Wolves (5-2), whose only losses in the preseason have been to the Pacers.
Milicic and backup swingman Martell Webster sat out Tuesday's game with injuries. Milicic, who started the first five exhibition games, has stiffness in his neck and shoulder and did not practice Monday. Webster has a sore back.
Webster did not dress for Tuesday's game. Milicic dressed but did not play.
Kosta Koufos made his first start at center with the Wolves in place of Milicic. Koufos, acquired from Utah in July in the Al Jefferson trade, finished with 10 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots in 32 minutes — his most playing time in the preseason.
Recaps of tonight's preseason loss to Indiana:
And that has made the competition that much more intense. Just ask Corey Brewer. A year ago, the long, quick, athletic Brewer stood out on a team that lacked much of the above. Now he's one of many vying for time.
"It sure is different this year," Brewer said. "In the past we had a lot of guys, but not like the guys we have now. Just look. We have young guys, athletic guys. They're good and we have a lot of depth. There is going to be a fight for playing time. But that's good."
Even if it means less time for him? Brewer doesn't seem to mind getting pushed. Ask him about his shot, which has been less than consistent so far this preseason, and he assures you it will be there when the regular-season whistle blows. Brewer, whose strength continues to be 1-on-1 defense, also pledges to play within Rambis' defensive scheme and do less gambling.
Telfair ended up playing a preseason-high 29 minutes to help defend Indiana point guards Darren Collison and A.J. Price. The added floor time helped Telfair finish with 19 points and six assists.
During the Wolves' first six exhibition games, Ridnour has started and gotten most of the minutes in the fourth quarter. Telfair's quality minutes Tuesday night might have generated some mental notes among Wolves coaches.
"I liked the energy with Sebastian and thought he was doing a better job defensively," Rambis said. "Luke was having trouble keeping guys in front of him. When I put him in (early in the fourth), he was probably stiff from sitting too long. That was my fault. It's my responsibility to keep guys loose and ready to play."
From Stephen Litel/SLAM Online: A Big Night for Corey Brewer- Is he playing himself out of the rotation in Minnesota?
From Anthony Maggio/FOXSportsNorth.com: Postgame Pickings: Koufos shows promise
From Mike Durkin/ FOX 9 News: Now a starter, Love's stock rising in Minnesota
From Patrick Reusse/Star Tribune: Wolves need some marketing genius to go with their new shooters