Watch out, Wolves opponents. Alexey Shved must break you.
The Russian-born guard is focusing on two things heading into his second NBA season. One of those things is a work in progress, as coaches and teammates implore Shved to “smile” more on the court, saying he plays better when he is in a good mood.
The second thing, getting stronger so he is not so easily knocked off the ball as he was as a rookie, he did a better job with this summer.
“I make muscles,” Shved said, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Building strength might be simpler for Shved than magically becoming happy-go-lucky. It has been an adjustment for the 24-year-old to learn to play off the ball, since Ricky Rubio is firmly in place as Minnesota’s primary ballhandler. Rubio told Shved last season to “change your face,” which wasn’t meant to be quite as insulting as it might sound to a native English speaker.
Wolves coach Rick Adelman is understanding of Shved’s demeanor, accepting that his young guard is “just not that way.”
If Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago taught us anything, though, there is hope for Shved. If he can change his body, and the Wolves can change his attitude, everybody can change!
Photo via Facebook/Minnesota Timberwolves