Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor did a long interview with Ray Richardson that appeared in the Pioneer Press on Sunday. There’s a lot there, and it’s worth reading in full: Taylor talks about the status of Rick Adelman and David Kahn for next season, as well as how the Brandon Roy debacle has played out.
Yet much of the interview is cryptic, leaving one to read between the lines for meaningful subtext. My takes are below the fold.
Here’s the thing. Everybody knows about the injuries and the unofficially-interim coach and the knee rehabilitation process and the 10-day contracts. I could begin every single game wrap by laying out why the performance should be immune from criticism because it’s nobody’s fault but plain old bad luck’s. But then there’s no point to going to the games and there’s certainly no point in writing about them for a hobby. My dad drove up from the Rochester area to watch tonight’s game. The couple next to us came down from St. Cloud. People spent time and money to come watch professional basketball on a sub-zero night in Minneapolis.
So the least the team can do is hold itself to a professional standard. In the fourth quarter tonight — WINNING TIME, as we call it — that did not happen. In case you missed the game, it was a real struggle for Minnesota, but they scratched and clawed their way back into it, largely behind a Rubio and Williams rush of assists and buckets in the second half of the third quarter. When each checked out of the game before the fourth quarter began, it was assumed by viewers that they’d be back soon. Neither had played many minutes in the first half, and both certainly had plenty in the tank for the stretch run.
Dante Cunningham hit a pair of jumpers and the Wolves trailed by just 2 points with slightly over 10 minutes to play.
And then J.J. went crazy.
And not in a good way.
Kyle Korver being defended by a 6’6″ player.
With just under 4 minutes to go in the first half of today’s game at Atlanta, the Wolves held a 54-36 lead. In the remaining 27 minutes and 46 seconds of action, the Hawks outscored the Wolves 68 to 42. In barely more than one half of basketball, the Wolves were outscored by 26 points. How does that happen?
Luke Ridnour: Out of Position, Out of Role
The Hawks made a halftime adjustment by starting Kyle Korver in the third quarter. The Wolves went with their starting lineup that included Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour. Seems reasonable enough, why start adjusting to the Hawks when everything they had done to that point was working just fine? Problem was, the the Wolves put tiny Ridnour on tall Korver. Ricky Rubio, meanwhile, stayed on the little point guard, Jeff Teague. Korver licked his chops, remembering the damage he inflicted in the late moments of the last Wolves-Hawks game. That damage was done when Ridnour was trying to check him.
After Josh Smith and Al Horford each scored and cut the Wolves lead to 10, Korver took over. In a span of 4 possessions and less than 2 minutes, Korver hit a pair of treys and a curling jumper, cutting the once-18-point lead down to just 4. From that point on, the game was close and the Wolves large advantage was gone.
GOOD COP: Nikola Pekovic put together a 20 & 12 in 32 minutes.
BAD COP: Pek missed 6 free throws, had a game-worst -24 (correlation, not causation, to be fair) and Coach Terry Porter weirdly limited his best player to 32 minutes of action. This, after playing just 29, 29, and 27 minutes in his last 3 games, respectively. What does TP have against his best active player?