Timberwolves trying to improve their defensive communication

The Timberwolves broke training camp Friday afternoon with coach Rick Adelman grateful that his team survived four demanding workouts without a significant injury but concerned about his best players’ defensive focus.

“We’ve known from the very beginning that we have a lot of offensive players, and their concentration is at that end,” Adelman said. “Their concentration has to be at both ends. You can drill on them everything in the world, and when they’re drilling, they’re fine. As soon as they get on the court, their concentration starts slipping. I’d say most of it is mental, and it’s something as soon as we start playing other teams, we’re going to find out real quick.”

Adelman and his coaches spent four days instructing their players on such complexities as proper positioning and rotations and preaching a basic such as urging them to communicate better on the court.

“You have to talk on the court,” Adelman said. “Every coach you talk to, their guys don’t talk enough. They get in the locker room and they talk all the time, but on the court, they don’t. That’s just the way it is. The good defensive teams talk. That’s one of the reasons [Kevin] Garnett has been so effective here and in Boston. He’s very vocal and helps his teammates out. We’ve got to get our guys to do that.”

Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune