The players on their offseason goals, SI.com on Rubio's improvement and more
Jonah Ballow/Timberwolves site talks to a few of the players about their offseason "plans for improvement"
The NBA is aware of Love's incredible knack to rebound. In 2009-10, Love took a big step forward in showing the league his range from the perimeter, even knocking down 33 more 3-pointers. This summer, the Wolves power forward will return to the low block for more improvement against post players. Love has also placed defensive improvement at the top of his list. In this day and age, power forwards are expected to defend a variety of athletes in the league. Love must own the quickness to guard players like Josh Smith and Rashard Lewis, two guys that face-up and attack off-the-dribble. On the flip side, Love is also counted on to challenge power forwards with strong post-up skills.
- Low-block improvement
- Defensive skills
From Ian Thomsen/SI.com: Countdown: In postseason hoops, Euroleague Final Four trumps all
Ricky Rubio improves. Instead of sharing the Timberwolves' backcourt with fellow rookie point guard Jonny Flynn, Rubio famously decided to remain in Europe for two more seasons. Not only was he able to remain in his hometown by transferring to Barcelona, the favorite to win the Euroleague championship at the Final Four from May 7-9 in Paris, but he also has emerged as a better NBA candidate than ever.
"I think he has improved in two things," said coach Ettore Messina of Real Madrid, which lost to Spanish rival Barcelona in the Euroleague quarterfinals. "His three-point shooting is much better. He has improved his follow-through and his extension of the arm, so that I think he will have no problem adjusting to the length of the three-point shot in the NBA."
The more significant upgrade has been Rubio's floor leadership. Last season with Joventut Badalona -- a smaller Spanish club also based in Barcelona -- he had pushed the tempo ceaselessly, but that recklessness wouldn't do for the championship team he now leads. He has become a more disciplined point guard for Barcelona.
Did you happen to catch Stephen Curry's stats from the Warriors' season finale, a 122-116 win over the Blazers -- 42 points, nine rebounds and eight assists? After a review, the NBA has credited two additional assists, both to Timberwolves GM David Kahn for taking Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn ahead of Curry in the draft.