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November 7, 2014 Updates

“Anything far, I couldn’t really see,” Bennett said. “I couldn’t see the people in the stands. Now I can see the scoreboard. I can see what plays coach wants to run.” In Minnesota, Flip Saunders has tried to help Bennett by simplifying things for him. “He came in and the first thing I said to him was there are two things you are not going to do: You’re not going to play small forward and you are not going to shoot three’s,” Saunders said. “Everyone has different ideas. That was just my evaluation. I believe right now he has a comfort level because he understands the position he is and what is expected of him.” Sports Illustrated

Bennett’s numbers early on have not been eye-popping. He is averaging 7.3 points in 15 minutes. He plays behind starter Thaddeus Young, getting the chunk of his minutes in the second and third quarters. But occasionally he shows signs of his enormous potential. Against Brooklyn, Bennett caught a pass in the paint and threw down a ferocious two-handed dunk over Nets center Mason Plumlee. At 21, Bennett has a lot to learn but for the first time he knows what is expected of him. “Last year I felt like I was always playing catch up,” Bennett said. “This year, I know what coach wants from me. It feels a lot different.” Sports Illustrated

Garnett’s 25 minutes against the Timberwolves pushed him past 49,000 for his career. Garnett, playing his 20th season, is fifth all-time in minutes played in NBA history, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Jason Kidd and Elvin Hayes. When asked before the game if his former star pupil could become a coach in the future, Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders didn’t hesitate with his response. “No,” Saunders said with a smile. “What he could be is he could be a good consultant, short-term stuff. “He’s got great knowledge, and he’d be great working with players. But his frustration … he gets frustrated pretty easy. That would be pretty tough on a coach. “He might be a short-term guy, but it’s not because of lack of knowledge. His personality, his DNA, he’d get too frustrated. New York Post

November 6, 2014 Updates

Wiggins had his best game thus far Wednesday, scoring 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting in a 98-91 road win over Brooklyn. He played a season-high 37 minutes, including down the stretch when he was asked by coach Flip Saunders to defend Joe Johnson, one of the best 1-on-1 wings in the NBA. “He reminded me of Paul George,” an Eastern Conference GM told SheridanHoops. “Paul came in a better off-ball defender than Andrew. He’s probably a good on-ball defender. Paul had a very difficult time handling the ball when he came in and worked on it and their shooting is similar. I’d say Andrew is a hair better athlete and Paul is a little bigger maybe. SheridanHoops

That “killer instinct” isn’t something a player can learn or pick up over time. It’s something within him like an “it” factor. You either have it, or you don’t. Or as Nets coach Lionel Hollins would say, “You’re either pregnant, or you’re not.” “His skill level is awesome,” an Eastern Conference GM told SheridanHoops. “His athleticism is off the charts. He’s got a prototypical NBA body and will get stronger. He can be a Paul George type of defender. In the open court, he can be really a terrific player. For him it’s just a matter of continuing to develop a skill set. He’ll do that. He’s a hard worker.” SheridanHoops

I asked Rubio what advice he has given Wiggins after coming over from Spain as the youngest player to play in the Spanish ACB League at 14. “It’s hard when you had all the hype and you have a couple of games where you don’t – I wouldn’t say respond, but if people don’t – see numbers because in this league it’s all about numbers,” Rubio replied. “Maybe you had six points, but you had a great game. It’s something that he had to understand. He had to feel good if he gave everything on the court. It’s something that he had to respect the process. It’s not going to come and score 20 or 25 points a game. That’s only something LeBron or Carmelo can do as a rookie. I think he’s been good so far knowing what to do to help the team.” SheridanHoops

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin received a warning from the league for violating the NBA's ant-flopping during a November 5 road game against the Brooklyn Nets, the league's website announced on Thursday. The incident in question came with just under eight minutes left in the third quarter, when Bojan Bogdanovic's hand made brief contact with Martin's shoulder mid-jump shot. The video can be seen here. Martin landed and fell sideways, prompting a foul call on Bogdanovic that awarded Martin two foul shots. He made both, evening the score at 54. The Nets went on to lose, however, 98-91. Sports Illustrated

But, in an alternate universe, Hollins already could have been working elsewhere , had the Timberwolves — one of several teams, including the Lakers, that spoke to Hollins this offseason — worked out a deal with him. That didn’t happen, though, and part-owner and team president of basketball operations Flip Saunders returned to the sidelines to coach the team instead, a decision Saunders said he made because of the uncertainty at the time surrounding the status of superstar forward Kevin Love. “We talked a lot about it,” Saunders said before his Timberwolves beat the Nets 98-91 in Brooklyn. “I think Lionel is a great coach. … But that whole thing was because of the Love situation. There was too much of the unknowns. Lionel, he’s a team who took a team to a conference finals, I thought that he was going to go to a veteran type team, and I couldn’t guarantee him that would be this type of team. New York Post

November 5, 2014 Updates
November 4, 2014 Updates

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Thaddeus Young has passed concussion tests and returned to practice after a scary collision with Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler on Saturday night. Young took an inadvertent elbow to the head from Butler shortly before halftime on Saturday. He remained down on the court for more than 10 minutes while Timberwolves medical staff tended to him and was unable to finish the game. Yahoo! Sports

“I think with the pieces that we have in this room today, we can go out there and potentially be a playoff team,” Young told Basketball Insiders. “I think the biggest goal at hand is to make it back to the playoffs and end this 10-year playoff drought. Right now, our main focus is to go out there and get better as a team each and every day and try to get ourselves a good playoff spot. “I think the sky’s the limit for this team. If it’s not this year, then it’s the following year. We have really good pieces on this team as far as young guys and we have solid veterans as well. I think we all complement each other very well, enough to go out there and do some things.” Basketball Insiders

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN TIMBERWOLVES HISTORY

Kevin Garnett remains unquestionably the No. 1 player in franchise history. The other Kevin can no longer threaten that position.

   

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