Found December 10, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS "What do you mean?" Rick Adelman had to ask, his dry laugh cracking. The reporter who'd asked the question didn't know better. He was with the visiting team, and he'd seen the box scores. He'd seen that Derrick Williams hadn't been playing, never more than 15 minutes since Nov. 21. He'd seen that 2011's No. 2 pick had sat, had become a "DNP" in three of the team's past eight games. He wondered what was going on, and he asked where Williams stood. It was an open-ended prod, a vague hint of the underlying, bigger issue. What has happened to Derrick Williams, and whose fault is it? And so the Minnesota Timberwolves coach answered with the most blunt of dispatches. "Kevin Love was hurt," he said. "Everything changes for players when people come back and you get your normal rotation. ... You play the people who you think give you the best chance to win. And if you're a coach in this league and you don't do that, you're really stupid." Take that sound byte alone, and Adelman sounds something approaching crass. He sounds like a coach too blatant, perhaps too shortsighted, to nurture young talent. But it's so far from the truth, a misrepresentation bred of frustration and one impossible-to-solve young player, and it should color no one's opinion of what Adelman does for the inexperienced rookies under his rule. Because Rick Adelman is the opposite of all that. He's the kind of coach players love playing for, and in Minnesota, he's left his mark on the young. The right kind of mark, for the most part. Look first at Ricky Rubio, before he was Ricky Rubio, before he played a game in the NBA or was injured. Before all of that, if you can believe it, many doubted what he could do in the United States. He showed up with high expectations and this dull, nagging idea that they might be ridiculous, and then Adelman let him play like few coaches in Spain ever had, freely and without restriction. He's a player's coach, they all say, these hundreds upon hundreds of men who have followed Adelman's lead. In Minnesota, thanks to Rubio, he established himself as such quickly, though subtly; it was easy to credit it all to the rookie, when really there was a man, a former point guard, even, creating the system in which he flourished and letting him do his thing. Rubio didn't have to earn that right to do his proverbial thing. All he had to do was earn the right for it not to be taken away, and he did. Same has been true for Alexey Shved, who's in a similar, if not magnified version of the position the rookie guard before him faced. Shved didn't just have uncertain expectations; he had none. There was no reason to believe he'd be a factor early this season or a factor at all until his second or third year in the league. He was presented from the start as very much of a project, and yet here he is, 18 games in, second in the league among rookies in assists per game (3.6) and sixth in points (10.6). "Some coaches are really hard on young guys," Adelman said. "I don't believe in doing that. We see the skills, and we see the way he (Shved) can do things in the game, and you've got to put him out there." So here is Shved, looking like his play will factor into the Timberwolves' fate. Ask him about his season, and you'll get soft, jumbled words from a 23-year-old still making the transition from Russian to English. One word, though, will stick out. Confidence. Coach, he has confidence in me, Shved will say, in some iteration. Coach has confidence, and so of course he'll play well. Of course he'll just default to the things he's been doing for his entire professional career in Russia, the things that put him on the NBA radar in the first place. No one is saying to play any way other than what's natural for him. No one is breaking habits that worked just because they're not the norm for a particular system. Like Rubio before him, Shved is doing little more than what comes organically, and he's succeeding. There are so many other cases, too, just here in Minnesota, in this tiny slice of Adelman's career. Chase Budinger arrived in a June trade from Houston, already familiar with the coach's system. Adelman, in turn, was familiar with him, from the two years he spent coaching him with the Rockets. They were the first two years of the former No. 44 pick's career, and in them, he impressed Adelman so much that the Timberwolves traded the 18th pick of 2012 for a year of his time. And to find maybe the best case of Adelman's live-and-let-live philosophy with these young players, look no further than the Timberwolves' current starting lineup. Look to the shooting guard, Malcolm Lee, who'd played in just 23 games (for a whopping total of 277 minutes) before he was forced into the starting lineup. The coach had other options, however limited or unconventional, than the raw, inexperienced combo guard, but he picked him. He put Lee out there, in doing so showing he believed in him, and since then, Lee has played a solid role. Malcolm Lee, the oft-injured second-round pick, a starting shooting guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Ricky Rubio, the fading phenom upon arrival, the missing piece for this team. Alexey Shved, the Russian nonfactor, now among the league's best rookies. Of course these players deserve the credit. They took the time and the opportunities they were given, and they've capitalized. But it is Adelman who's giving them the time, who's treating each like any other player, who isn't tripped up in their age or inexperience. When given talent, Adelman lets it be just that. Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.

Love upset with T-Wolves front office?

Kevin Love seems to be upset with the Minnesota Timberwolves' front office over several different issues, and he may be preparing to leave.

Wolves Sunday: Rubio working on conditioning

MINNEAPOLIS After taking Saturday off, the Timberwolves returned to practice on Sunday, with Rick Adelman absent and Brandon Roy present for the first time since Nov. 18. Adelman attended the dedication of a basketball court at Chemeketa Community College in Oregon. Adelman was the head coach at Chemeketa from 1977 to 1983, and the dedication, combined with Sunday's snowstorm...

Wolves Monday: Rubio return still undecided

MINNEAPOLIS Two weeks ago, when Ricky Rubio was cleared to practice, the Timberwolves training staff identified this Wednesday, Dec. 12, as a possible debut date. Now, though, things are still up in the air. It isnt due to anything Rubio has done, it seems, but rather to considerations with the schedule. The game against the Nuggets comes on the heels of four days of rest, but it...

Kirilenko succinctly gets to Rubio core

MINNEAPOLIS No one wants to talk about anything but Ricky Rubio. When's he coming back? (Yet to be determined.) What does he do best? What does he bring to the team? How will he change it? How does he look in practice. And for a week, the Timberwolves have been waxing poetic, with so few new details and so much praise. On Tuesday, Andrei Kirilenko put it perfectly. When asked...

Wolves' Williams staying patient through DNPs

Derrick Williams says he is trying to stay patient through fluctuating playing time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The former No. 2 overall draft pick has not played in four of Minnesota's previous nine games. Coach Rick Adelman has elected to go with veteran Dante Cunningham as the primary backup to All-Star Kevin Love at power forward, and Williams' playing time has...

Ricky Rubio is a backyard wrestler in ad

At the end of November Foot Locker released an incredible ad with Kyrie Irving, showing what happens during one of those huge, cinematic dunks. How did the company decide to follow up their recent success? The answer is one part Ricky Rubio, one part backyard wrestling and several parts awful.  What a blown opportunity by Foot Locker. Their Irving spot got the advertising and...

Brandon Roy Improving After Knee Surgery

Adelman on Brandon Roy’s status after knee surgery: “He’s doing his work, and he didn’t practice. He’s just going through shooting and doing things like that. It’s good to see him out on the floor, and they’re going to see how he goes this week. I think maybe next week, as long as he’s doing fine, his activity will improve.” via

Wolves have lost 20 of 22 against Nuggets

Kevin Love returned the last time the Minnesota Timberwolves took on the Denver Nuggets. The Timberwolves have not officially ruled out Ricky Rubio for the second meeting of the season between these teams Wednesday night at the Target Center. Denver (11-11) spoiled Love's surprise return for Minnesota (9-9) with a 101-94 road win Nov. 21. Love came back with 34 points and 14...

Kevin Love Could Opt Out of Contract After 2014-15 Season Due to Dissatisfaction With Wolves’ Front Office

Kevin Love is not happy with the Minnesota Timberwolves and seems to be at least partially regretting signing a four-year extension back in January. The Timberwolves had the option of giving Love their designated five-year deal, but instead offered him a four-year deal with a player option to opt out after the third year. The T-Wolves were saving their max deal for point guard Ricky...

Williams focusing on what he can control

MINNEAPOLIS A year ago, Derrick Williams was the only player on Rick Adelman's team to play in all 66 games. He prided himself on that, even into this preseason. No matter how much of his game was lacking, he was there, which was more than so many of his teammates could have said. Now, though, the streak is gone, though hardly through his volition, not even through an injury...

Love Remains Uncertain About Wolves

Kevin Love believes in Rick Adelman, but David Kahn's personnel moves continue to be looked at suspiciously.

Nuggets-Timberwolves Preview

Kevin Love returned the last time the Minnesota Timberwolves took on the Denver Nuggets. The Timberwolves have not officially ruled out Ricky Rubio for the second meeting of the season between these teams Wednesday night at the Target Center. Denver (11-11) spoiled Love's surprise return for Minnesota (9-9) with a 101-94 road win Nov. 21. Love came back with 34 points and 14...

Williams patiently waits for chance with Wolves

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI AP Basketball Writer MINNEAPOLIS -- The minutes have come and gone for Derrick Williams this season. Truthfully, they've been mostly gone for almost a month now. The No. 2 overall draft pick out of Arizona in 2011 doesn't pout or whine behind the scenes. He just keeps working in hopes that his chance will come with the Minnesota Timberwolves sooner rather...
Timberwolves News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.