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Was Love kidding about Beasley?

  • Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
  • January 9, 2012 - 12:13 AM

Y'all have thought it.

But Kevin Love said it after Sunday's rout of the Wizards in Washington, even if he claimed he was joking.

A couple minutes after Rick Adelman stood out in the hallway and said the Wolves moved the ball better than they had all season, Love sat at his locker stall and was asked if he agreed with that assessment and why that might have been so?

"Um," he looked up and said, "Mike being out?"

Then he offered, "I'm kidding, I'm kidding."

But was he really kidding?

Does the ball move so much better when Michael Beasley -- home on this quick two-game trip because of that sprained foot -- isn't on the floor?

You'll find it in the first item to the Sunday game notebook here.

And here's the game story from a day when the Wolves won on the road for the first time (hey, they've only played two road games so far), bounced back from disappointing home losses to Memphis and Cleveland and held an opponent to the fewest points since Indiana scored 71 on Dec. 23, 2006.

In doing so, the now 3-5 Wolves kept the Wizards winless, at 0-8, and the watch on coach Flip Saunders' job just went to Defcon 2.

So what's your take on Love's "joke"?

Was he really just kidding?

Is he simply telling it -- even though he was "joking" -- like so many Wolves fans believe that it is.

Or did he show a lack of leadership and maturity by throwing a teammate under the proverbial bus?

And guess what?

Monday is Beasley's 23rd birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mike!

When I asked Love if he was really kidding, he said, "You know, I defer."

Adelman didn't say much directly about it after Sunday's game, but he did say this:

"That's the best we moved the ball as a team," he said. "Changed sides of the court, controlled the tempo, a solid win. We were sharing the ball...The way we played today, guys understand we play that way at both ends of the court, we have a chance to win."

So why did it move so well on Sunday?

It helped that Ricky Rubio had 14 of the team's 22 assists.

For the first time since opening night against Oklahoma City, the Wolves had more assists than turnovers (22 to 16).

Rubio and fellow rookie Derrick Williams each played 30:27, all of that time together with each other. Each was a plus-29 on the plus-minus rating, entering the game with the Wolves trailing 17-13 late in the first quarter and walked off the court together at halftime with a 48-34 lead.

"I don't know," Adelman said about a team that moved the ball. "We've been talking about it for a long time. Yesterday, that's all we talked about at practice. Just trying to simplify things, just running three or four things and making sure we changed sides of the court with the ball. They got an idea of that. For the most part, that's what we do."

I asked if the ball moves better when Beasley's not in there.

"Well, it did today because we didn't have him," he said. "It's something we have to learn. It's something we've been talking about all year long. Sometimes, especially early in the game, you have to move the ball to help your teammates as much as you try to score yourself. If you play right, the ball is going to come back to you."

That's all from, well, actually Buffalo.

I made it this far after this afternoon's game in D.C., and will travel the rest of the way Monday morning to Toronto for Monday night's game, the second of three-in-three days for the Wolves.

Adelman canceled Monday morning's shootaround because he's trying to keep these guys rested through this tough shortened season, so I'l check back here with a new posting pre-game Monday.

Unti then, your thoughts about Love's comments are welcome...

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