Flynn dealing with "mental block," Darko working on his shot and more
Wolves point guard Jonny Flynn, struggling to regain his form after hip surgery in July, admitted Saturday that he's dealing with a "mental block" that often prevents him from going full speed in conditioning workouts and drills.
"In my mind, you feel tightness in certain areas, so you don't want to go past certain barriers," Flynn said Saturday. "That's why you don't see me exploding like I used to or showing that pop in my legs. I'm still trying to get past that."
Flynn said he's improving by the day and getting closer to informing the Wolves' medical and coaching staffs that he's ready to play. When that time comes, Flynn said he would agree to play "a game or two" with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Wolves' affiliate in the NBA Development League.
From Tom Powers/Pioneer Press: Timberwolves' faith in Darko paying off
"Yeah, it looks bad," he said with a laugh. "You just never know. I've been working on my shot. The coaches have been watching a lot of tape, and they look at my shot and they say my base was off balance. That's why they say all my shots were going away. So we're kind of working on it, and my base is a little bit wider."
Darko said he's been working with coach Kurt Rambis before and after practice. It's really paid off. And it appears to be one of the first pieces of tangible evidence that Rambis can coach. There really has been no way to tell. He had a hodgepodge of inadequate players last season. This year, he's basically working with a new team.
"The last three games we've been working with Darko on his confidence," Rambis said. "I don't know what type of basketball shape Darko was in to start the year. I don't know how much playing he had been actually doing. I think he is finding his rhythm now. He is being more aggressive and shooting the ball the way he should be shooting the basketball.
"There are a lot of people in this league making $12, $13 million and they are not playing at all," said Milicic. "They can say whatever the [heck] they want to say. I'm not going to worry."
But it's clear that Milicic is capable of very good things. Coach Kurt Rambis said that after Friday's game. Whatever Milicic does, Rambis wants more. Milicic struggled with his shot erly in the season. Maybe he was off-balance, which is what the coaches thought. Maybe he wasn't totally confident, which Milicic disputes.
Rambis said he feels that years of riding the pines have prevented Milicic from getting into basketball shape. Not conditioning, necessarily, but to a point where he could handle 30-plus minutes a night, hard practices, travel and the bump and grind that goes on in the NBA paint.
From Mike McCollow/FOX Sports North: Wolves earn buzz but wilt under pressure
From Anthony Maggio/FOXSportsNorth: Milicic's play a bright spot in loss to L.A.
From Broderick Turner/Los Angeles Times: Lakers forward Lamar Odom takes Timberwolves' Kevin Love out of the game
In the 112-95 win over Minnesota on Friday night, Odom had two fouls.
He wanted to be on the court so he could play Love.
"He's so good, he's so persistent going for the ball," Odom said. "He probably tired me out a little bit. I didn't have my legs on my shot. He does a good job staying around the basket, making you be aware of him.