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News » Ramon Sessions counted on as leader of young Minnesota Timberwolves team

Ramon Sessions counted on as leader of young Minnesota Timberwolves team

Ramon Sessions counted on as leader of young Minnesota Timberwolves team MANKATO, Minn. -- The Milwaukee Bucks will notice a couple of changes in Timberwolves guard Ramon Sessions during tonight's NBA exhibition game at Bresnan Arena.

Sessions, who played mostly point guard the past two seasons with the Bucks, is getting more time at shooting guard in the Wolves camp. He also will be more vocal than he was with the Bucks.

"I'm trying to be one of the leaders," said Sessions, heading into his third NBA season. "That shows you how young we are, if I'm considered a veteran."

The Wolves open the preseason with five rookies and six other players with two years or less in the NBA. Sessions is one of the six, but he's being counted on to help a first-year coaching staff develop a stable backcourt with a new system.

Sessions looked forward to the challenge after the Bucks decided not to match the Wolves' offer sheet for him in September. Sessions was a restricted free agent after last season and liked the opportunity to elevate his career with the Wolves.

Wolves coach Kurt Rambis declined to announce a starting lineup for tonight's game, but he has talked of pairing Sessions and rookie Jonny Flynn in the backcourt. Another option for Rambis is to use Sessions as Flynn's backup at point guard.

"Whatever they need me to do is fine with me," Sessions said. "I'm learning this offense like everybody else. It's a difficult system to run, but I'm making progress."

Rambis has brought a variation of the triangle offense to the Wolves, a system popularized by Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson when Jackson won NBA championships with the Lakers and Chicago. Rambis learned the offense under Jackson as a Lakers assistant.

Sessions is studying the role of both guard positions in the offense. His value to the Wolves could increase if he's able to handle both positions.

"You have to know all the spots on the floor for everybody's position and be there at the right time," Sessions said. "It's a pass-first offense. There's not much dribbling."

The adjustment for Sessions might not be that difficult. Sessions led the Bucks last season with 5.7 assists per game. When he scored a career-high 44 points against Detroit last season, he also had 12 assists in the game.

Don't worry about the refs: Replacement referees will work tonight's Wolves-Bucks game. The league and referees union remain at an impasse in contract talks.

Rambis warned his players not to get caught up in disputes over potential bad calls.

"I told the players I want them to focus on what we're supposed to be doing, regardless of the referee situation," Rambis said. "I don't want guys stopping and whining. I want them to have the mentality of playing through whatever is happening on the court."

Briefly: Forward Oleksiy Pecherov (broken hand) is the only Wolves player not playing tonight. He has been limited to shooting and conditioning drills since the start of the camp.

Rambis said he will limit Al Jefferson's playing time to help avoid aggravation to his right knee. Jefferson continues to battle back from knee surgery in February.

The Wolves will break camp after tonight and return to the Twin Cities.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 5, 2009


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