Reporting Mike Max
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Timberwolves host the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday night at Target Center, and there’s a player not named Kevin Love or Ricky Rubio that’s gaining a lot of attention.
Nikola Pekovic is the name is starting to roll of the tongues of Timberwolves fans. It’s because of his tough play in the post, and because there’s a self-depricating side to him.
He has a video that’s turning heads. There’s more than 20,000 hits for a production the Timberwolves put together. He’s now turning heads on the basketball court by playing at a surprising level that’s now filling him with confidence.
“The team has given me some chances to finish around the rim, and you get some confidence that your teammates want to pass you the ball. When they’re looking for you, you’re believing even more because they are trusting in you,” Pekovic said.
If Pekovic wants to become a household name, then it seems like the recipe is fairly simple: It’s keeping it simple. That’s what the coaching staff sees: A player that just needs to do a few things well to make this team better.
“He needs to be able to be a force on the boards, be in the right position defensively, particularly in the pick-and-roll game and make sure that he finishes when he gets it around the rim,” said Jack Sikma, a Timberwolves assistant coach.
While he keeps putting up numbers, it’s not necessarily by being an option on offense. It’s by being a secondary presence in the post. That’s why he doesn’t get much attention from defensive players.
“If I keep playing like I was playing, I just try to do my best. I still need to play many, many good games,” Pekovic said.
He’s also got quite the sense of humor, which makes him a good teammate.
“He’s fun. He’s funny and it’s nice to have a tough guy like him but a funny guy like him too,” said Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio.