There’s a kind of weird, inherent contradiction in writing about sports. Because here I am, preparing to build something out of words about a game played by people who don’t use words to illuminate, but rather to sometimes obfuscate, sometimes motivate, and almost always for ulterior motives. I don’t mean that athletes are dumb—far from it, actually. The clichés they often speak in are tools as surely as the pick and roll is a tool. I simply mean that I’m always striving to use words to carve away the noise from the game, to find some skein of sense—or at the very least, a clearer perspective—that can build a resonance for myself and, hopefully, whoever reads this, while athletes and coaches are packing together words for themselves, for their team, for the public in multi-layered and often contradictory ways. Continue Reading…
Archives For Rick Adelman
Rick Adelman will be on the bench for the Wolves’ matchup with the Clippers on Wednesday–and not a moment too soon if you ask me. We don’t know much about Kay Adelman’s illness–which is as it should be–except that her health is evidently improving. We do know that the Wolves were 2-9 in Adelman’s absence. We also know that we are glad he is back.
Not being privy to the day-to-day interactions of coach and players, its hard to suss out precisely how the coach affects his team’s play. What’s more, Terry Porter’s brief run as Wolves’ head coach coincided neatly with this most recent plague of injuries–you know, that one that has observers unduly praising Mickael Gelabale. Its clearly unfair to judge Porter based on a record compiled with the sparse, overextended roster that he’s been saddled with. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted the task of, for instance, defending Deron Williams and Joe Johnson with the J.J. Bareas and Luke Ridnour’s of the world.
That said, the Wolves did seem to be less well prepared and to play less creatively with Porter at the helm. And Adelman while has always been reflective and insightful regarding his team’s play, Porter, with his “everybody pull together/keep working hard” bromides has seemed less so. (Not that we should be judging anybody based on how they interact with the media, but Porter’s “going with the hot hand” defense of J.J Barea was a low point.) Again, its hard to fathom exactly how a coach’s presence influences a team’s play, particularly given a sample size as tiny and deformed by circumstance as this one. Nevertheless, like I said, we’re glad that Adelman is back.
I didn’t expect to be writing this post.
At the beginning of the game, the Wolves were undermanned and completely overmatched. This Nets team is healthy and a lot better than what the Wolves are able to run out there. That much was evident in the early minutes of the game. I was going to write about Starbursts — you know, the candy? I was formulating my thoughts about Starbursts while hoping to catch a glimpse of a great pass by Rubio to placate my necessity to see him light up the Target Center. Continue Reading…
Here’s Rick Adelman lamenting the Wolves’ effort against Portland last night: “I just hope this game taught our guys a lesson, because for the first three quarters we hung our heads, we didn’t make shots, we didn’t compete like we have to compete.” On the face of things, even through the first three quarters, this game appeared relatively even. Both teams shot poorly overall, the Blazers just a few percentage points better than the Wolves (indeed the Wolves made one more field goal than Portland on the game). The Wolves out-rebounded the Blazers by a significant margin and played solid on-the-ball defense. Free throws were roughly even; turnovers were even.
If you’re not a good shooter when you’re playing basketball, there are quite a few things you can do to improve your form/motion and become a more accurate shooter. Continue Reading…
Kevin Love has once again voiced his lack of trust in the Wolves’ front office and once again, it’s eliciting the same reactions.
Here are a few snippets from Adrian Wojnarowski’s latest column, this time on Kevin and his uncertainty about his future in Minnesota: Continue Reading…
Is Derrick Williams a bad player who doesn’t belong on the Timberwolves?
The growing sentiment with an impatient fan base seems to be yes, he is. And that’s what we are right now; it’s an impatient fan base because the biological clock of Kevin Love’s potential early termination option is ticking like a time bomb. There is a presumed small window to get this team into the elite ranks of the Western Conference or we’ll be back at the first step again in a few years. Through impatience comes great desperation and understandably so. Continue Reading…
Friends, this is a familiar feeling. I’m not talking about losing close games in novel ways although that has been a Timberwolves specialty for years. I’m talking about that moment in which a Wolves season descends into pure, wild, effing absurdity. We’ve learned the hard way that this can happen at any time. It can happen because a team rebels against its coach or because a bad team finally succumbs under the weight of its own soul-sucking badness or, as is currently the case, because a genuinely entertaining and competitive squad has been pulverized by injury. In any case, the fourth quarter of this very strange game was a descent/ascent into a state of wasted, anarcho-schizoid carnival.
Rick Adelman became a broken record last year. Someone for the Wolves would go down with an injury and he’d start talking about how guys couldn’t feel sorry for themselves and had to step up. They had to make the most of their opportunity to help the team. Ricky Rubio went down with his ACL injury. Kevin Love got a concussion. Nikola Pekovic had bone spurs in his ankle the size of Gibraltar. Pick any of JJ Barea’s 27 injuries from last year.
Guys went down and the Wolves went down with them. Nobody stepped up. Nobody cared. Everybody had the calendar circled for their vacation and not for the playoffs. Once Rubio was gone, the season was lost. Once Love was gone, the season was a joke. Once Pek was gone, it was the same old Wolves again. Adelman begged a set of players without anything close to a guarantee of a future with this organization to show some pride and we only saw it one game, when they finally broke their April losing streak. Continue Reading…
I really can’t believe the comeback that happened tonight for the Wolves in Brooklyn. Without their two best players, Minnesota went on the road, got down by 22 on unbelievable shooting from the Nets, and still managed to pull out a victory.
Alexey Shved and his new haircut became a real pro player tonight, Dante CunningHAM continued to woo us with his incredible energy and valuable movement off the bench, and the 3-point field goals finally began to fall. This is such a cliché but this was a total team effort on all counts. They were getting blown out as a team and came back as a team. Their mistakes were corrected during the course of the game and the regression eventually smacked the mean in the face and challenged it to a duel at ten paces.
Rick Adelman can’t receive enough credit for the coaching job he did. He trusted guys who were getting the job done, and gave them the tools and scheme to get it done. Check out the night’s grades after the jump.
(Note: if you’re not seeing grades show up, try looking in Firefox. There have been issues with Chrome and the recap generator.)