There's a lot of good film the Timberwolves have generated on their way to a 15-4 start this season.
But one of the ways coach Chris Finch has tried to keep his team focused to prevent a losing streak is by making sure he finds the clips that show what the Wolves need to keep improving.
"He hasn't, not one day, changed," point guard Mike Conley said after Monday's practice. "He hasn't thought about how good we've done. Everything I've seen on the film has been negative, from Day 1.
"In the most perfect of games, he finds 20 clips of us doing something wrong and ripping us for those clips. He's keeping us humble, keeping us locked in and focused on each day."
So far, Finch's approach is working as the Wolves lead the Western Conference. For his efforts, Finch was named Western Conference Coach of the Month for November, the league announced Monday. Finch becomes the third coach in Wolves history to earn a monthly honor, joining Kevin McHale and Flip Saunders.
He said his current approach in film sessions is in line with how he has coached throughout a career that has included head coaching gigs in Europe and the G-League.
"You got to see what storm clouds are on the horizon," Finch said. "You got to be able to improve through success. It's against human nature, but for me, I've always been able to drill down on the mistakes and stuff like that. It's just how you present them. You can't keep beating them on the head with them with a lot of negativity, but you do have to highlight them. I think there's always areas of growth."
Transition defense is one of those areas after Charlotte threatened to upset the Wolves on Saturday by running on the Wolves. But when the game tightened in the final minutes and it became more of a half-court game, the Wolves executed well on offense, something that has improved from last season, and played stifling defense on the other end to gut out a victory without guard Anthony Edwards and forward Jaden McDaniels.
Not that the Wolves, who play San Antonio on Wednesday, are basking in that win too much. Forward Troy Brown Jr. said if someone walked into a film session after a Wolves win, he or she might think the Wolves lost.
"He's definitely pointing out stuff we need to work on," Brown said. "I love that because it keeps all of us honest and making sure we're working every day."
Brown is in his first year playing for Finch, and his thoughts about that experience echo a lot of what other players have said about Finch: He's a direct communicator who gets straight to the point when he has something to say.
"He's straight business. Great coach, great guy, great personality," Brown said. "He understands we do have the talent and we have to be disciplined. He's taking on the lead of making sure that we know every day we need to come in and work and not taking our foot off the gas. He understands that we're a mature group and we have guys that want to play basketball. At the same time, he's making sure that we stay on top of what we need to do."
Finch said Edwards was "day to day" as he deals with a hip pointer that has cost him the past two games. Edwards was able to participate in some of Monday's practice. He said McDaniels, who has been out since Nov. 20 because of a sprained ankle, will likely be out for the two games this week — Wednesday's game and Friday's at Memphis.
The Wolves hope to have McDaniels back in live practice situations next week.
Point guard Jordan McLaughlin, who has been out since Nov. 6 because of a sprained right knee, was able to take part in almost all of Monday's practice, Finch said. McLaughlin could return later this week or early next week.