Alexey Shved’s quietness on the court is stopping him from reaching his potential as a Minnesota Timberwolves point guard, the team’s forward Kevin Love has said.
Shved joined the Timberwolves in the summer on a three-year, $10 million contract after leaving CSKA Moscow.
Better communication could transform Shved into a star like the Timberwolves' Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, Love suggested.
“Alexey is shy, but he's like Ricky. He loves the game and knows how to play. If we can get him to talk more, he's going to make big strides,” Love said Monday on the NBA website.
“He makes great cuts, makes great passes, great reads. Defensively, he can guard basically one through five, so he’s just an all-purpose player that does all the intangibles to help the team.”
Coach Rick Adelman echoed Love’s comments on Shved’s communication problems.
“It’s going to be a process with him. We’ve been playing him at the point and that’s hard because he’s got to run the whole team, call all the plays,” he said on the NBA website.
Shved gave a rare English-language interview Monday, saying that the Timberwolves’ tactics were simpler than those he had been used to while playing in Russia.
“This not so hard system. We play not the same, like not so difficult like in Europe,” he said.
Adelman’s belief in young players was a major factor in Shved’s decision to join the Timberwolves, the Russian said when he signed in June.
Within days of Shved signing, the team brought in veteran Russian forward Andrey Kirilenko, who spent last season at CSKA alongside Shved.