One thing is clear after a Timberwolves’ loss to CSKA Moscow in their preseason opener, and that is that head coach Rick Adelman was not at all encouraged by the play of his starting five, and for good reason.
The Wolves failed to grab just their second lead of the game until five minutes into the fourth quarter behind reserves Derrick Williams and A.J. Price. Williams managed to put up 21 points and 9 rebounds off the bench, and Price contributed 14 points in the overtime loss.
While it is not uncommon for teams to lack rhythm early in the preseason, it seemed as though Minnesota is more of a work in progress than Adelman had expected. In a busy off-season that included the acquisitions of sharp-shooter Kevin Martin, swingman Corey Brewer, and the re-signing of center Nikola Pekovic, it is clear that the unit is still struggling to gel around franchise cornerstones Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.
How disappointed could Adelman be after one game you may ask? Here are his thoughts after becoming just the third NBA team to lose to a Euroleague team in North America.
“Our starters didn’t come here ready to play at all tonight. I just didn’t like the way we played. We didn’t share the ball like we have in practice. They tried to body us and be physical with us. If we’re going to allow them to do that we’re not going to be able to get into an offense against them … We’ve got to play with more passion than that.”