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Wolves Forward Williams Strives To Step Up Game

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Timberwolves are teetering, and you wonder what's fair to expect of this now injury-riddled season.

They're at Dallas Monday night, trying to snap a three-game losing streak. Derrick Williams is an X-factor in all of this. Is it time to just let him play 35 minutes and see what he can do? That may depend on Williams making an upgrade.

He teases you. You know he has ability. You just don't know how much you will see him.

"It's tough. I've never had that in my career, but you just got to learn," Williams said. "You got to learn every day from it. The minutes I am in the game, I just got to get out there and play hard."

He's interesting because you don't know what to expect. Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko says the unpredictability of Williams' playing time is a shame because the team needs his talent – now more than ever.

"Derrick is a tremendous player. It's unfortunate that in the beginning of the season he doesn't really have much time on the floor. But he can play basketball and we definitely need him right now," Kirilenko said.

You can dispute whether or not Derrick Williams should play more in Rick Adelman's system. But this much has become clear: the key to him getting off the bench and on the court on a consistent basis is to make sure he's much more consistent on a regular basis.

Williams thinks he can shore that up with repetition - a good old-fashioned gym rat approach to it can only help.

"I try to keep working, staying after practice," Williams said. "It's always staying ready. That's what coaches are telling me."

The truth is with Kevin Love out, this might be his best and last chance to make a difference.

"We all have to step up a little bit, you know. Not just myself," he said. "Everybody in general has to pick it up a little bit."


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