Garnett knows Sam's strategy

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

There are few in the NBA who know Sam Mitchell as well as Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett.

As the first high schooler in 20 years to make the jump directly to the NBA, Garnett got a huge helping hand from Mitchell in his formative NBA years.

So really there's nothing a Sam Mitchell-coached team can throw at Garnett to surprise him. But for whatever reason, and Mitchell sloughed it off as just a fluke thing, Mitchell is a perfect 6-0 against the Timberwolves since he became a head coach.

Garnett says he knows exactly what is coming but suggests Mitchell's teams are so well drilled, most opponents can't take advantage.

"I know Sam (Mitchell), Sam's going to run the pick and roll and force you to shift and move," Garnett said.

"He's going to force you to rotate and if you don't have your rotations down, he tells those guys to be aggressive. They've pretty much got that system down to where they just move the ball and take their shots.

"Ball movement is ball movement. Sam used to always preach, even in practice, preach about moving the ball and being in spots and teaching guys how to play. It's no surprise to me that they know how to do all that stuff."

Garnett then laid out how to counter Mitchell's attack.

"If you have good weakside help, then nine times out of 10, that neutralizes the pick and roll," Garnett said.

"If you have an aggressive guard sometimes I personally try to trap the point guard and get the ball to a three or maybe a four. A lot of times fours and fives set the pick and you force them to make a point guard decision and nine times out of 10 out of that, they're not good at it ... It all depends on communication and how well your weakside defence is. If your weakside is asleep as we say or just sitting over there, the pick and roll is fully effective."

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT

Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective to really see what you're accomplishing.

For Chris Bosh, who -- make no doubt about it -- is enjoying every minute of being a contender and respected team after three consecutive years of losing, that perspective came from newcomer Juan Dixon.

Bosh was asked after Monday's win in Minneapolis how much fun he was having.

"Funny you should ask," Bosh said. "I was just talking about that with Juan. He was saying what a good team we are. Hearing him say that just made me smile because I've never heard that kind of talk here before. It's just a great feeling to come from last year and being down and losing so many games. I felt like I was a winner all that time and the record was just what it was and this year has just been a blast. I'm loving it."


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