Minnesota is a young, up-and-coming team in the Western Conference. With players such as Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, and Derek Williams, the Wolves could be challenging the best in the West (and in the NBA) with a talented roster.
Except they aren't impressing head coach Rick Adelman this preseason. Minnesota is 2-2 in preseason play and recently lost to Toronto 97-104 which drew the ire of Adelman.
After the loss, he blasted his team for not playing with a sense of urgency with the regular season closing in. He also reminded his young team they are not the San Antonio Spurs or the Heat and don't have the luxury of flipping the switch when needed.
“I don’t understand,” he said. “Like I told them afterward, we’ve played two games here at home and we’re acting like we’re just going through the motions. We aren’t the San Antonio Spurs and we aren’t Miami. We act like we have plenty of time.”
The Wolves have all the pieces to make some noise in the West but are quite young. The eldest player on the current roster is Kevin Martin with nine pro seasons. Adelman is just doing what any head coach of a young team would do – push them to be better.
It's always a double-edged sword when it comes to youth versus experience though.
On one hand, the Spurs have plenty of veteran players who are battle-tested and know what it takes to win in any scenario. However, they are long in the tooth and are susceptible to injuries which may cause a longer recovery or get tired towards the end of the season or in a drawn out playoff series.
On the other hand, a team like Minnesota has youth which has its advantages when it comes to sustaining a high-paced style of play but haven't been tested, and lack experience.
For Minnesota, this is just another learning lesson for the young players. Something all players, including the Spurs, had to do at one point.
Though I would argue the Spurs also need to play with a sense of urgency as well. Their core players don't have plenty of time left in their careers to capture one last NBA crown.