MINNEAPOLIS Nikola Pekovic is Rick Adelman's best student.
Adelman says it, Adelman needs it, Pekovic does it. That's become the theme of the Timberwolves' big man's breakout season this year, as he's been the only player to truly capitalize on the opportunities he was given. And, as Adelman pointed out Sunday, he's also one of few players on the team who's come back strong from an injury this season. You're never sure who you're going to get when a player comes back from being hurt, Adelman said recently, but Pekovic has convinced his coach and teammates that nothing has changed since he returned from a bout with bone spurs in his ankle and bronchitis.
"He's been solid right on through, even after when he came back after his injury," Adelman said. "He was slowed a little bit, but right now he's playing like he was before."
The "slowed" Pekovic who Adelman described has nevertheless averaged 14.5 points and 6.9 rebounds since returning on April 2, down from 17.4 points and 8.5 ...