Tom Thibodeau Rumors
Towns: Obviously initially, when you’re trying to learn something super complicated — especially a defensive scheme as complicated as Thibs’s — it takes time, because I was already a rookie, and now it’s only my second year. Think about it — I had no stability in those four years leading up: high school I had a coach; college I had a coach, left in one year; and then my first year [in the NBA I] tragically lost Flip [Saunders and then played under] Sam Mitchell; and now this year I’m with Coach Thibodeau. So, I’ve never really had a true defensive scheme to stick with. I’ve always been adjusting on the fly.
Towns: When [Thibodeau] first came in, I just really wanted to learn. I took some extra time with him, started early … and now I understand the system much better. … It’s been amazing, because even with Jimmy [Butler], Taj [Gibson], Aaron Brooks — guys who’ve played for Thibs for a much longer period of time — they understand the schemes, so it’s always great to ask them questions and to be able to play off of them. And times when I mess up on defense, they’re able to help me out because they understand where they need to be in the scheme. … And when you have somebody who’s that passionate about winning, who loves the game that much, and who’s willing to give all his time to have us as prepared as possible, that makes our culture better. It makes us feel better knowing that whenever we step onto the court, we feel we’re the most prepared team in the NBA.
Their most energetic, productive player way back when the Timberwolves held training camp in San Diego, reserve forward Shabazz Muhammad has all but disappeared from coach Tom Thibdoeau’s rotation recently.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” he said. “I definitely played well in preseason. I think I’m going to get that back. I’ve been staying after [practice], getting up extra shots, getting my conditioning in, making sure my body is in tiptop shape so I can be ready. I feel really good. The best thing is to stay ready and stay in shape right now. I’ll wait for my number to be called. That’s the best thing I can do at this point. I’m watching the games, staying ready, waiting for Coach to call my name. That’s being a professional and that’s something I’ve got to go do.”