Wolves Updates 11/10

— Basketball president David Kahn on rebuilding the Timberwolves: “Who we are this month isn’t necessarily what we’ll be a month from now or two months from now or a year from now.”

Coach Kurt Rambis played those two point guards together for about four minutes in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s blowout loss, but he mostly has been reluctant to play the two players in which the team has so much invested together.

He has said he prefers other options at shooting guard, namely Corey Brewer and rookie Wayne Ellington. But here might be the real reason: He’s trying to groom Flynn at point guard and apparently doesn’t want him picking up bad habits.

“I want Jonny to try and be a point guard,” Rambis said of Flynn, who has been more efficient scoring (14.3 points per game entering Monday’s 146-105 loss) than distributing the ball (3.1 assists per game). “He’s a more natural scorer than Ramon is, so now I’m telling him to go from the point guard position to a position where his mindset is to score. I’m not sure how that would affect things.

From TrueHoop: Five thoughts about Timberwolves at Blazers
In the last few weeks, I have heard Corey Brewer mentioned three or four times as the butt of jokes. It’s getting to be time for that to stop. He and Andre Miller both dared each other to shoot all night, but Brewer did it with purpose — and was an effective help defender helping to keep Roy (who had one of his worst games as a professional) at bay. He’s no All-Star at this point, but there’s no doubt he’s vastly improved.
From Brian Murphy/Pioneer Press:
Jawai, who is 6 feet 10, 280 pounds, showed a nice shooting touch. He also matched up well against Portland center Greg Oden and set a series of workable screens on offense.

His work ethic and quick assimilation with the Wolves’ ball-moving system have earned praise.

“He has impressed the entire coaching staff from Day 1,” said coach Kurt Rambis. “He has a very high basketball IQ. He’s very light on his feet. He can move well. He understands the game. It’s just a matter of him getting some time on the floor to understand what we expect of him offensively and defensively.”

From Geoffrey C. Arnold/The Oregonian:
For the moment, Love is just trying to maintain his conditioning and not lose all the hard work he put in during the summer. He entered training camp in the best shape of his career and was curious to see how his new body would fare during the regular season.

“I was in very good shape. It was a rare occasion that I was dead tired in a game,” Love said. “We did all sorts of sprints and I usually finished first among the bigs most of the time. My body just felt great.”
From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune:
But here’s something Rambis mentioned before the game that might be more the real reason: He says he’s trying to teach Flynn to play point guard the right way and if you put Sessions and Flynn out there together, Flynn is the more natural scorer of the two.

The implication is he doesn’t want Flynn to develop bad habits — think score first — by playing him with Sessions, although you could say he’s mostly been a scorer first (14.2 ppg average, just 22 assists now in 7 games) his assist totals (22 in 7 games) anyway while Rambis is trying to teach him how to play the point guard spot.
From Luke Bynes/Hoopsworld: A Look At The Top NBA Rookies
The Timberwolves aren’t ready to contend for a playoff spot just yet, but the team added a valuable piece around which to build for the future when it tabbed Flynn with the sixth pick in the draft.
Also, relatively blessed are the Minnesota Timberwolves, who — while still wondering what they’ll do with a chip named Rubio — are receiving strong point guard play from Flynn. Through a seven-game sample size, Flynn is giving the T-Wolves 14 points (on 48 percent shooting) in 27 minutes per game.

Flynn is sharing time with newly acquired Ramon Sessions, whose departure from Milwaukee created playing time for Jennings. So, although Flynn is having a fine start to his professional career, Jennings (backed up by Luke Ridnour) has a more impressive early list of responsibilities.

The Timberwolves, who visit the Warriors Monday, have lost six straight games since an opening-night victory over the Nets. Last season, Minnesota won its opening game and lost eight in a row. No other NBA team has posted even four straight losses after winning its first game of the season since the Magic’s 1-19 start in 2003.
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