The Timberwolves currently have three centers on the payroll--as well as three forwards who can also play some five.
That list includes, centers: Darko Milicic, Nikola Pekovic & Brad Miller. The other three are: Kevin Love, Anthony Randolph & Anthony Tolliver.
You can find full preseason analysis' from the preseason of Love & "both the Anthonys" in the forwards preseason analysis post.
Let's take a look at how our centers did this preseason...
DARKO MILICIC: 7pts, 8rebs, 2ast, 3blks, 1stl, 4fls, 2tos, 2-for-4 (50%) FG, 3-for-5 (60%) FT, in 2 games--34 minutes first as a starter, second off the bench
--I loved watching Darko go to work this preseason. Darko played to his strengths and wasn't forced to do try and be the Pau Gasol of the triangle offense--that Rambis was ramming down everyone's throat the past two seasons. For Adelman he'll take shots when open, but most importantly he's the Wolves' best post defender--blocking shots and going head-to-head against the NBAs best big men. Not an impressive stat line, but he'll get plenty of time because of his defensive effort. So long as we never have to have our head coach try and make Darko Milicic the focal point of the offense!
NIKOLA PEKOVIC: 6pts, 6rebs, 1stl, 4fls, 2tos, 2-for-3 (67%) FG, 2-for-2 (100%) FT, in 2 games--16 minutes, first game off the bench--second as a starter
--His first game wasn't anything to write home about, playing just four minutes with 2pts & a rebound. However, his second game, he started--played the entire first quarter; and delivered with 4pts, 5rebs and a steal in those 12 minutes. He only played the first quarter because he injured his groin. He hasn't practiced the past few days and likely won't play in Monday's opener vs. OKC. I predicted before the first game of the preseason, he could very well be the TWolves' starting center. I still feel he very well could happen at some point in the season (I'm not talking for just a game in the season). He's a tough, big presence in the lane, hopefully he heals quickly and starts working toward more playing time this season. His biggest hinderance will be whether or not he can stay out of foul trouble!
BRAD MILLER: N/A
--Brad Miller didn't see any time this preseason as he recovers from offseason knee surgery. The word is, he'll likely be able to get back on the court to start practicing in January. Miller was of course acquired in a draft day deal with the Houston Rockets that sent some picks as well as Jonny Flynn to the Rockets for the some picks and the veteran big man. He's a welcome addition as he's VERY familiar with Adelman's system (considering he played for him in both Sacramento & Houston for a number of years). He can definitely still play and will certainly challenge Darko & Nikola for minutes, however his biggest contribution to the Wolves will be his veteran presence as well as the knowledge and experience in Adelman's system that he can pass down to Minnesota's big men. Hopefully we'll get to see him on the practice court and in the lineups very soon!
That's all for now. If you haven't already check out the two other separate posts--one analyzing the guards and the other: forwards. Also stay tuned for a gameday preview (I should finish it sometime tonight or tomorrow sometime). Until then, have a Happy Holidays and GO WOLVES!