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but he was an even better person,

MINNEAPOLIS -- Tom Thibodeau, king of solitary marathon film sessions, got lonely. Nike Flyknit Lunar 2 Noir .It happened throughout the past year as he moved around the country, trying to take advantage of a paid year away from the NBA. In all, he spent time with 13 NBA teams, watching practices, having lunches with coaches, watching games and, of course, going through security checks and riding shuttle buses.I didnt like traveling alone, Thibodeau said. It got to me. I dont know how people do it.The Minnesota Timberwolves hired Thibodeau because of his strong history of teaching defense and his demonstrated ability to squeeze everything out of his Chicago Bulls teams from 2010-15. But owner Glen Taylor, who gave him a five-year, $40 million deal to also oversee the teams basketball operations, might be getting a coach who is slightly different from the one the NBA last saw.Thibodeau kept telling people he viewed last year as a sabbatical. That meant more than rest, it also meant training. In all that time alone, Thibodeau did a lot of thinking and considering. Whether it will lead to real changes is to be seen.Thibodeaus methods were often branded as old school, even though he repeatedly showed his defensive principles were designed to slow modern offenses. When it came to playing time and the 3-point shot, well, he wasnt as progressive.But there are already signs he is trying to modernize his approach in his first days working with one of the leagues most promising young rosters. As an example, Thibodeau for the first time has hired a shooting coach -- Peter Patton, who was schooled by San Antonio Spurs shooting coach Chip Engelland -- because as he went around the league he noted many teams were adding the position. Patton wont just work with the Wolves players, he will consult the front office in looking at player acquisitions and draft preparation. Again, thats progressive.When examining how the Wolves can break their 12-year playoff drought, Thibodeau immediately pointed to the 3-point line. The Wolves finished 29th in 3-point attempts and makes last season.We gave up nine [3-pointers] a game, and we made only five and a half, Thibodeau said. Thats like starting the game 10 points behind.Thibodeaus Bulls teams werent 3-point heavy. They were 28th in attempts in 2013-14 and 29th in 2012-13, though in his final season, they improved to 16th. Some of that, of course, was due to personnel. But his focus on it now is part of the old-fashioned coachs attempts to evolve.Were a work in progress, Thibodeau said, perhaps even talking a little about himself. Weve got to close the gap.Thibodeau has been using that line a lot in the first days of the season, sometimes reaching his arms out and making a symbolic squeezing motion.The team had plenty of salary-cap space this summer, and some speculated theyd get deep into the bidding on former Bull Luol Deng. But instead of using a large block to chase a veteran starter, they signed a range of reserve players, including?Cole Aldrich, Jordan Hill and Brandon Rush. Thibodeau also signed veterans John Lucas III and Rasual Butler, both of whom played for him with the Bulls, to help the transition for younger players and to teach his systems.The Wolves left $10 million in cap space unused, and two of their highest-paid players, Kevin Garnett and Nikola Pekovic, wont be playing for the team this season. Its a young, relatively cheap and deep roster, albeit still largely unproven.In theory, at least, all the bodies should reduce Thibodeaus famous dependence on riding his front-line players for major minutes, which some believed led to the Bulls rash of injuries. Long-term rest techniques and injury-prevention methods were other league trends Thibodeau observed, notably in his time around the Golden State Warriors and their strength in numbers vision.I liked the core of the team. I want to get to know them better, he said. Im going to focus on the players we have. That gives me a better idea of what our needs are.The Wolves finished last season ranked 27th in defensive rating, a woeful number that Thibodeau certainly has the expertise to improve. They did win four of their last five games, including a bit of a magical West Coast trip in which they won at Golden State and Portland in the same week. Still, it added up to just 29 wins, another losing season.We have the talent, and we have the length to be better on defense, but we didnt always have the discipline, Karl-Anthony Towns said. Im willing to say I dont know. I want to learn.Towns said he thought Thibodeaus defensive system was similar to what he ran at the University of Kentucky, and he was encouraged that hed learn quickly. When this was mentioned to Thibodeau, he just grunted with a half-smile. Towns and the Wolves havent seen anything yet.Thibodeau didnt need a league-wide tour to learn how to teach defense. Looking at the way the Wolves have set up their preseason schedule makes it clear who is in charge now and what his goal is. Thibodeau essentially designed three training camps. Though technically voluntary, every Wolves player was doing full workouts for 2-3 weeks before the beginning of actual training camp. According to players, these were de facto practices.Its a clinic every day, guard Ricky Rubio said. Theres an intensity in practice. Hes tough but in a good way.Then Thibodeau scheduled 11 days between the start of official practice and his first preseason game. Some teams had as little as four days of practice before the preseason opener. In a way, that is the second training camp. The third is an unusual nine-day preseason road trip that will take the Wolves to five cities, including stops in Kansas City, Missouri; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Louisville, Kentucky. This will enable a long bonding session, much of it in non-NBA cities, that will mimic an offsite training camp.In this time, Thibodeau, as one would expect, is drilling his players on defensive techniques. He didnt say it, but his actions make it clear he was appalled at the Wolves defensive habits last season. More than half of the early workouts were focused on defense. There were film sessions focusing on positioning. There were drills intended to create habits.We have to get an understanding of it. We cant rest, Thibodeau said before starting a checklist. We have to be a talk [on defense] team, we have to be challenging shots, we have to learn to finish defense correctly.Thibodeau gave the impression that theres a long way to go for the Wolves, even if his players talk positively about their improvement. Hes also paying a lot of attention to Andrew Wiggins, who two seasons ago was the leagues rookie of the year. In many ways, Wiggins holds the key for the long-range upside of the Wolves. Towns, last seasons ROY, has the look of a budding All-Star, perhaps the most exciting young player in the league. Young wing Zach LaVine quietly had an outstanding second half last season, especially shooting from long range. Theres a lot of excitement over rookie point guard Kris Dunn, who had a promising summer league.But the team needs Wiggins to grow into his potential, to be heading into the conversation for All-Star and All-NBA teams starting now. Going into his third season, this is the time when he should be taking large leaps forward. Thibodeau is spending extra time with him, watching him work on individual drills after practice and giving special instruction.Theres significant excitement around the team, the idea that Thibodeaus arrival combined with natural maturation of young players could truly create the roots of a serious team. Combined with a new practice facility and a renovated Target Center, there is a feeling of rebirth. Thibodeau, of course, is more focused on the work than anything else.Its like building a house, Thibodeau said. Were still working on the foundation. Nike Blazer Basse Noir Et Blanche . James, who turned 29 on Monday, injured his groin Friday during the Heats overtime loss at Sacramento. He sat out the following game, a 108-107 win Saturday in Portland, before coming back to help send the Nuggets to their seventh consecutive loss. Nike Blazer Pas Cher Noir . Hamelin, who triumphed in the 500 on Saturday, edged out Victor An of Russia by 0.021 seconds to maintain his lead in the World Cup standings. Russias Vladimir Grigorev was third. In the relay, Canada took control six laps from the finish line to beat Russia and the Netherlands.http:///...oom-fit-agility.html . - NASCAR announced a 33-race schedule for the 2014 Nationwide Series with virtually no changes from this years slate. Former Texas A&M All-American linebacker Antonio Armstrong and his wife, Dawn, were shot and killed early Friday in their Houston home.Their 16-year-old son has been charged with capital murder in the deaths, the Harris County District Attorneys Office told KPRC in Houston.Officers discovered the wounded couple at approximately 2 a.m. Friday. Dawn Armstrong died at the scene, and Antonio Armstrong was pronounced dead at Memorial Hermann Hospital hours later with a gunshot wound to the head.Antonio Armstrong was a letterman who played for the Aggies from 1991 to 1994. In a statement Friday, Texas A&M described him as a cornerstone of the Wrecking Crew defense. He was named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award as a senior after leading the Southwestern Conference in quarterback sacks and tackles for loss, and was named a first-team Associated Press All-America linebacker in 1994.Armstrongg was selected in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Nike Blazer Basse Noir. . An ankle fracture in training camp led to his release that October. He then signed with the Miami Dolphins and played in four games that season, logging four solo tackles.Armstrong also played three seasons in the CFL.The Armstrongs owned and operated a small chain of fitness centers in the Houston area.R.C. Slocum, who coached Armstrong at Texas A&M, issued a statement on his death.Antonio was a special young man. He was an All-American and an outstanding player, but he was an even better person, Slocum said. He was such a positive influence on his teammates. He always had a great big smile and was a joy to coach.The Associated Press contributed to this report. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China ' ' '
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  • Created: Dec 24 '16
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