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It’s been quite a week for the Wolves. A quick four-game slump, turnovers rear their ugly head, ”Lin-sanity” comes to town and a blowout win over the over-matched Bobcats were the headlines. Four games remain before the All-Star Break (did that come quickly or what?) and Kevin Love taking on the Three-Point contest and playing in his second All-Star game.
Ricky Rubio Talks to Reporters at Shootaround Wednesday
The Timberwolves were over .500 on Tuesday, February 7th. 13-12 that late in the season hasn’t happened since Kevin Garnett was here. Optimism was high. Then came a terrible effort in Memphis when Rick Adelman benched the starters in the 4th Quarter. Losses to Dallas, New York and and Orlando followed. Really, the first bad stretch of basketball the team had played all year. The Wolves did lose three straight to open the season but that was Oklahoma City, at Milwaukee and Miami. All close games. No shame there.
This felt different and Coach Adelman pointed to an ugly stat this team seems to be stuck on: Turnovers. In the four losses, the Wolves averaged 20.5 turnovers per game (including an awful 27 against Dallas). The Wolves are 4th worst in the league right now, averaging 16.3 turnovers per game. As early as training camp, Coach Adelman harped on them to take care of the ball. It still is an issue for the young Wolves.
The way the schedule has gone in this shortened NBA season, practice time has been very difficult to come by. But an off-day Tuesday allowed Head Coach Rick Adelman to spend some time on the offense and work on taking care of the ball. It’s something he says is necessary for his guards.
Coach Adelman Turnovers and the Importance of Practice Time
Wolves Guard J.J. Barea Says Team Can’t Win Turning the Ball Over
This past Saturday, the Wolves got their one look at the New York Knicks and it took place during an amazing run of games for Jeremy Lin, the sensational young point guard who has taken the NBA by storm. While he didn’t do to the Wolves what he did against the Lakers and then did to Toronto, he did drop 20 points and 8 assists leading the Knicks to a 100-98 victory at Target Center. Think Jeremy Lin is a hot ticket? The Target Center was filled with 20,232, the largest Target Center crowd since 2004.
Wednesday night, the Wolves hosted the Charlotte Bobcats who, in the understatement of the day, have really struggled. They came into Target Center at 3-25 (a record Wolves fans can relate to) and losers of 15 straight. They left Target Center losers of 16 straight.
A close game deep into the 3rd, the Wolves blew the game open with a 10-0 run to end the quarter and coasted to a 102-90 win. Kevin Love (this is a recording) led the way with 30 points and 18 rebounds. It’s Love’s 10th game this season with at least 30 points/10 rebounds. No other NBA player has more than five.
Postgame Interview with Kevin Love
Postgame Interview with Luke Ridnour
Postgame Interview with Nikola Pekovic
Next up for the team is what should be a very difficult stretch of games. They’re at Houston Friday, home for surprisingly hot Philly on Sunday, at Denver Monday and home for Utah Wednesday. Then it’s the All-Star break followed by a trip to L.A. for the Clippers and Lakers. No gimmes in that stretch to be sure.
Speaking of the All-Star break, the Wolves are going there well represented. Besides Love competing in the actual All-Star Game, he will compete in the Foot Locker Three Point Contest. Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams will also take part in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. Now, it was just announced that Derrick Williams will also be competing in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Williams is the fourth Timberwolves player to compete in the dunk contest. J.R. Rider won the dunk title in 1994.
Derrick Williams Talks About the Dunk Contest and Watching it Growing Up
The Rising Stars Challenge will be on Friday, February 24th, the Three Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday, February 25th and the All-Star Game will be Sunday, February 26th.