Timberwolves GM Milt Newton is content with how the roles have worked themselves out on the roster: “I see our team already falling into knowing their roles and playing their roles, so that’s good to see. I’ve spoken to guys from other teams, and there’s a period that a lot of teams go through when they’re trying to figure out who is the go-to guy, who is the guy who’s going to get the most shots. We don’t seem to have that problem” (Charley Walters of TwinCities.com).
It doesn’t seem to be as easy of an adjustment for everybody, however. With Kevin Love‘s return to the lineup and Kevin Martin securing a major role within the team’s offense, Nikola Pekovic has been struggling to return to the niche he found on that side of the floor last season. Though Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune points out that Pekovic’s scoring average (11.0) and shooting percentage (38.9%) are significantly lower than last year (16.3 and 52%), the 6’11 center insists that he isn’t unhappy and is focused on trying to find other ways to help the team win games.
Here’s more out of the Western Conference tonight:
- Kevin Pelton of ESPN examines the Rockets’ offensive struggles while using a big lineup, and suggests that dealing Omer Asik for Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson or the Bucks’ Ersan Ilyasova would be ideal (Insiders only).
- Lakers star Kobe Bryant opened up about his health and Dwight Howard among other things in this video from Hoopsworld. Earlier this evening, Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles tweeted that Kobe had been sprinting as part of his rehab, but hasn’t begun any lateral/ cutting movement yet.
- As brilliant as the Clippers have been offensively, Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld gathers up some thoughts about their defensive struggles.
- Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram writes that the Mavericks have been able to develop chemistry by keeping the same starting five, which is worth noting considering that Rick Carlisle had shuffled through 23 different starting lineups last season.