Archives For The Breaks

It’s strange to listen to coaches and players and announcers attempt to make sense of the Timberwolves’ current situation. Over and over we hear testaments to the team’s professionalism and resolve, evocations of the stoic warrior ethos: we keep playing; we play with who we have; we all sacrifice more; someone new has to step up. And from their perspectives, this makes sense. After all, even with a lineup as decimated as this, what else are you going to do? The games are on the schedule. You have to play them. The only alternative is a kind of numb, Anthony Randolphian apathy, which, while probably justified by the circumstances, only makes things more painful.

But the hard fact of the matter is that the Wolves–particularly now that they are without J.J. Barea and Andrei Kirilenko–are so undermanned, are stretched so thin at every position that their chances of beating competent NBA teams are awfully remote. Despite the stoic rhetoric, you could see the heft of this realization weighing on the players’ faces at the end of this game. Deep inside, they know: When they play their guts out against good teams, they lose by less than ten points. When they are truly mismatched, or when they are not quite at their best, they get hammered. At certain moments the absurdity of it all seeps through the cracks. What is happening here? Where is Kevin Love and why is Mickael Gelabale getting serious minutes for an NBA team? Why are we even doing this? That’s despair talking. And–get this–we’re not even to the All-Star break.

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So here’s some fun news from the Wolves:

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image) taken this afternoon at TRIA Orthopadedic Center revealed that forward Kevin Love suffered a re-fracture of his third metacarpal in his right hand. The injury occurred during the third quarter of Thursday’s game at Denver. Love will be examined by Dr. Andy Weiland, a hand specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, later this week. An update to Love’s status will be provided after that examination. Love initially suffered a fracture of his third and fourth metacarpal in his right hand on Oct. 17. For the season, Love has played in 18 games and leads the Wolves in scoring (18.3 ppg), rebounds (14.0 rpg) and double-doubles (14).

It bears mentioning, if only as an add-on to Zach’s excellent post from yesterday, that Love’s hand never seemed to have fully recovered from the initial injury. The strange swelling and the odd, angular way the ball came off his hand when he shot is evidence enough of that. We don’t yet know whether this injury is in any way a result of the initial break, but we do know this: the Wolves’ (and our) dreams of Love and Rubio playing together at full strength have been deferred again. Maybe this will make you feel better: