Kevin Love said he saw Ricky Rubio this morning.
Love had to get to Target Center for treatment on his sore back, which kept him out of Friday's game with L.A. but won't stop him tonight. When he got here he saw Rubio and heard the news that Rubio was out for the season with a torn ACL ligament in his left knee.
"It's a big emotional shock," Love said before Saturday's game at Target Center. "(Rubio) makes winning plays. He's a winner. We love having him around, on and off the court. We hope for a speedy recovery so he can help this team next year. ... It's a tough blow for our team, but these things happen in professional sports. We have to persevere through it and need to come together. It's a chance for the other guys to step up."
Greetings. Kent Youngblood here. Both Jerry Zgoda and I are here at the game tonight. But I though I'd write a quick pre-game blog after having talked with some of the players and coach Rick Adelman.
Adelman has pushed all the right buttons so far this season. After having talked with the players, it's clear that Adelman has run a preemptive strike on anybody about to start feeling sorry for themselves. One player after another echoed what Adelman said to the media before the game. To paraphrase:
Everybody is disappointed. Everybody is feeling for Rubio, wishing him the best, willing to support his recovery. But the playoffs are still a viable goal. "You can't step backwards because somebody has an injury," Adelman said. "You have to move forward. ... Certainly there's probably disappointment, but I told them today you don't have time to get down. You can't when you get injuries in this league. The team that responds to that are usually the teams that are ready for it and ready for guys to step in. We've been playing at a high level. I don't see why we have to change that. That's going to come from effort. We're going to have to work harder than everybody else."
As for what the injury means tonight? Adelman said Martell Webster will slide into the starting lineup at the off guard position. Rookie Malcolm Lee, fresh off his second stint in the D-League, has become the backup point guard, though he likely won't play a lot of minutes.
Adelman's message is, basically, this: No excuses. The Wolves will have to change some things. Starting a lineup that includes two point guards is out the window, even when J.J. Barea returns from a sprained ankle, which could be as soon as Monday in Phoenix. Adelman did say, though, that Barea and Luke Ridnour could see some time on the court together during games going forward.
"We're all disappointed," Adelman continued. "I'm really disappointed for (Rubio). He's having a great year and we're going to miss him. He kind of sets the tone for our team the way he plays, but he's young. And, you know, the way he is, he's so competitive he's going to get through this and come back."
That's about it for now. We'll get back to you after the game.