An interview with Wolves assistant Sidney Lowe


We are twenty-two days away from the Wolves season opener. There are a lot of questions that we want answered while training camp is happening and I had the privilege to talk with one of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ assistant coaches, Sidney Lowe, on the sports talk show I host on AM 1390 The Fan in St. Cloud.

Lowe took part in one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history, so before I asked him Timberwolves’ questions, we talked about that game. He was part of the NC State team that defeated the Houston Cougars in the 1983 NCAA Championship Game. Houston’s roster included two hall of fame players in Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. Lowe was also coached by the great Jimmy V, Jim Valvano.

Here’s our conversation, with my questions in bold and Lowe’s responses underneath them.

Lowe on the main objective for the Timberwolves this season.

The main objective is to go out and play as hard as we can. Play as well as we can and play together. We are trying to carry out what Coach Saunders talked about after the season last year. It’s to improve our young guys and get these guys to understand how to win games. We want to focus on developing our young guys and make sure they know how to play.

How has Kevin Garnett changed the intensity in practice since he’s arrived?

It’s tremendous. Especially with a young team like ours. Young big men. You can’t put a price tag on how valuable he is to our team. You can’t. The ultimate goal right now is to play hard and develop our young guys. But when you have a Hall of Fame player teaching your guys, but not teaching them from the sidelines, he’s teaching them on the court, it’s invaluable. They respect him and they know he’s done it before. His ability to give these guys confidence when he’s on the floor, it’s amazing.

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Can Ricky Rubio lead the Timberwolves deep into the playoffs?

Yes, he can do that. Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, their scoring guards. I think Ricky has a lot of talent, and their are a lot of things that he can do a lot better than those guys. My advice to him is to be good at what you do, and don’t force it.

Did Karl-Anthony Towns surprise you at all with his arrange of skills?

Karl surprised me a great deal. What I really like about him is his approach. Right now, Karl is in the top-three on our team in terms of work ethic. That speaks volumes for a rookie. I love his attitude. He did surprise me with his skill level, his ability to pass the basketball and his knowledge. Now, he’s going to have to learn how to be effective with those things at this level. Once he starts to understand the physicality of it and the speed of everything, he’s going to be very good.

What do you want to see most improved from Wiggins?

We want him to get better defensively. We want him to get better at creating for other people. We don’t want him to feel like he’s got to take tough shots. Last year, about 76% of his shots were contested shots. We know he’s going to be good. We have no idea where he can go. We love what he’s done in the off-season and we love what he’s done in training camp.

Important Note: I did not ask him about Zach LaVine, but he brought him up after I asked about Wiggins.

I have to say, I’m very excited about Zach LaVine. We really have three young and talented guys when you talk about first or second-year players. A lot of people aren’t really talking about LaVine, but I’m going to tell you now he might be the surprise to a lot of people. He will be talked about in light of some of the other young guys in the league. He has been at times the best player on the floor in scrimmage.

I want to see him in the starting lineup.

We’ll see about that. We’ll see about that. He’s the type of kid that you have to kick out of the gym.

I recommend that you listen to the full interview, of course. A lot of great bits in there that I didn’t write above.

Here’s the full audio interview with Sidney Lowe:

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