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It was just like old times Wednesday at the Denver Broncos'
training complex. DeMarcus Ware took Bradley Chubb aside and gave him some
pointers in between drives at the team's mandatory minicamp.

"I've been doing it my whole career Anthony
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," said Ware, who returned to Denver as a
pass-rushing consultant a year after retiring from the Broncos.

Ware will work with the linebackers and defensive linemen. Whereas most
coaches "have like 90-hour weeks," Ware will only have to make occasional trips
to Denver, where he only has to focus on technique, not scheme.

The reason most superstars don't go into coaching so fast is they haven't
gotten their playing days out of their system.

"Oh, it's out," Ware insisted. "It's way out of my system. I'm Dad now and
being able to spend some time with my kids. But now getting a couple of days
here and there where I can go to the games and help the guys out, come to
practice and maybe a little bit of training camp and throughout the season."

Ware still looks yoked and he joked he's still good for 25 snaps and a couple
of sacks per game.

"But those days are done," he said. "I can still put the cleats on and help
the guys out in other ways."

Ware played three seasons in Denver after a nine-year run in
Dallas ,
where he left as the Cowboys' all-time sacks leader with 117. He added 21陆 to
that total with the Broncos, whom he helped win Super Bowl 50.

Ware also helped out the Cowboys pass rushers this summer but said he had to
choose between the two teams for a more substantial role "and this right here
was my choice."

In Denver, he'll get to work with rookie Bradley Chubb, whom he called a
"great phenomenal athlete," adding he's "one of those as they come in, they
don't know the scheme yet but they have all the athleticism and the
'measureables' to be a great player."

He's also getting reacquainted with superstar Von Miller, whom Ware said
continues to impress him.

Since Ware's retirement, Miller has "become a lot bigger leader on the team"
and is a more vocal, Ware said.

HOUSTON — At first blush the Minnesota Timberwolves got what they wanted in
Game 1 on Sunday Dick Butkus
, limiting the Houston Rockets to a substandard shooting
performance from the perimeter after being overrun by a hail of 3-pointers while
being dismantled in all four regular-season meetings.

But what went wrong proved costly for Minnesota. Despite the sound strategy
of running multiple bodies in the direction of Rockets All-Star guard James
Harden, the Timberwolves’ defense resembled a sieve as Harden produced 44 points
and eight assists in a 104-101 victory.

If the Timberwolves can again harass Houston into 10-for-37 shooting from
behind the arc on Wednesday at Toyota Center in Game 2 of this Western
Conference first-round playoff series, they will have met one of their primary
objectives. However, preventing Harden from torching their defense is a game
plan that must be executed in concert with blanketing the 3-point line.

“It’s got to be a lot better,” said Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler, who drew
the primary assignment on Harden. “I’ve got to do my job more effectively. What
do you want: a free throw, a 3-pointer, a layup? He got whatever he wanted in
that game and I’ve got to be better at taking it away.

“He’s a (heck) of a player; everybody knows that. But you don’t just guard
him with one guy, it’s everybody out there. Everybody has to be in the correct
position to challenge shots Jason
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, contest him at the rim. If there is a miss we’ve
got to get the rebound and take off the other way. But we didn’t do any of that.
We’ve got to be better on Wednesday.”

Another goal for Minnesota is to unlock a method to better utilize the
supreme talents of All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns on offense. Towns was
second on the team in scoring during the regular season, averaging 21.3 points
while attempting 14.3 shots per game. In the series opener, he tallied eight
points on nine shots and was unable to take advantage of the situation when he
occasionally worked against smaller defenders in the Rockets’ switch-oriented

The Timberwolves nearly overcame Towns’ lack of production by relying on a
multitude of contributors. Five players scored in double figures led by Andrew
Wiggins‘ 18 points and the combined 28 points from the starting backcourt of
Jeff Teague and Butler. Reserves Jamal Crawford and Derrick Rose totaled 31
points on 11-of-25 shooting to provide needed balance.

“The important thing is it’s not a one-on-one game, and so everyone has to
understand that,” Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said. “If they’re going to
double team that means it’s going to be easy for other people and if they’re
going to switch we have to make the right reads. If we’re making the right play
the game will tell you who’s going to get the shots. And as long as we take good
shots then I think we’re going to score.”

Per usual, the Rockets shook off their poor shooting as an anomaly and
relished their ability to thrive in the paint instead. Houston outpaced the
bigger Timberwolves 54-44 on paint points with Harden feasting both on driving
layups and pinpoint passes to center Clint Capela, who finished 10 of 15 for 24
points. Harden produced six layups or dunks and assisted on six more, fueling an
offense often described as 3-point depended yet again proved versatile and

“I think every single night we take what the defense gives us,” Harden said.
“Unfortunately ,
we didn’t knock down the 3-ball — Game 2 that will be different — but just
getting to the basket, finishing, not only myself but Chris (Paul), Clint, the
entire team. We’re not going to try to force anything. We’re going to take what
they give us and have confidence in our shot. That’s all we’ve been doing and
that’s the reason why we’re here.”

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