Bulls fall to Minnesota in preseason action
Timberwolves 82, Bulls 75 | 10.13.2012 | Chicago 1-2 in the preseason
MINNEAPOLIS -- Alexey Shved made two 3-pointers and scored 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 82-75 exhibition victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
Nikola Pekovic had 16 points and 17 rebounds, and Brandon Roy added 13 points in his comeback attempt.
Kirk Hinrich led the Bulls with 15 points, Joakim Noah added 14 points and 13 rebounds.
"It's not about one person," said Noah. "It's about us playing good as a unit right now. We have to play with a little bit more urgency. I feel good. I feel like have been working really hard on my game but still trying to feel comfortable out there. We have a lot of new faces playing within the system. We don't scrimmage a lot. We maybe scrimmage for 10 minutes after practice. Right now it's all about getting our defense down. We are doing a lot of coverages right now. Hopefully with experience and playing together we will accomplish that."
Nazr Mohammed finished with 10 points for Chicago.
"I thought the start was better," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. "I thought the approach was a lot better but we still have a long way to go. Defensively we are ahead of where we are offensively. The fourth quarter right now is the problem. I think we have to respond better to the difference between the first three quarters and the fourth quarter. Knowing that the intensity is a lot different in the fourth quarter. We have respond better. We have to get to our spots and take better care of the ball. We have to stop recklessly fouling and gifting team points. Those things we have to clean up."
Noah agreed the Bulls have some work to do on the offensive end of the floor.
"It hasn't been very good," said Noah. "We have to do a better job of executing our offense. Even thought there is a lot of new faces we definitely have to do a better job of executing our offense. Timing, spacing and knowing the strength and weakness of the opposing team and knowing our options when things are not going right."
The Bulls led 60-58 after three quarters, but Shved, a member of the Russian Olympic team who signed with the Minnesota over the summer, helped the Wolves grab control. He made a free throws with 7:59 to give Minnesota the lead for good at 67-66, and added five points in an 11-0 Minnesota run midway through the fourth quarter.
Chicago played without Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton, both of whom were experiencing general soreness. Minnesota did not have Kevin Love (elbow) or Andrei Kirilenko (left hamstring) available.
"We still have a ways to go," said Mohammed. "We are still trying to get better. It's preseason but we don't want to use that as an excuse. There are a lot of new faces, so we are just going to try working on it."