With the season less than a week away, Tom Thibodeau isn’t satisfied yet.
Although the NBA decreasing the number of preseason games was supposed to be a benefit for the health and readiness of the players for the regular season, Thibodeau wants one more game. The Minnesota Timberwolves will play a full-length intrasquad scrimmage tonight, which will be closed to the public, with full contact and NBA rules.
The biggest point Thibs will focus on is the defensive end, where the Wolves are likely to have the biggest problems early on. Last season, the Wolves were in the bottom five in defensive rating. Jimmy Butler, the team’s new star two-way player, has no problem holding his teammates accountable on that end.
“Yeah, we can score the ball, 10 in a row. But at the end of the day, everybody has off nights,” Butler went on to say. “Imagine everybody has an off night on the same night, that’s going to happen. But you can rely on your defense.”
A few more notes:
- Thibodeau mentioned he doesn’t expect one guy to run away with the team 3-point title this year. He expects all five starters to put up some shots, and recognized Gorgui Dieng as a low-volume, high-percentage guy from deep. In other words, look for all the Wolves’ bigs to be shooting from deep this season.
- Thibodeau also referenced Butler when discussing willingness to share the basketball. “When you have your best players do that, it’s contagious to the rest of the team, so his willingness to share the ball for the rest of us.”