Is now the time for a lineup adjustment?
- Blog Post by: Kent Youngblood
- January 10, 2012 - 11:21 PM
Greetings for a final time this evening.
There is a good bit to talk about after this very entertaining game, isn't there?
I'm sure the first thing on just about everybody's list is this: Is it time for Wolves coach Rick Adelman to change his starting lineup?
He wasn't biting on that post-game. But he did say he was going to spend the next two days thinking about it. And he should. The Wolves fell behind by 24 points in the second quarter before a smaller group that included Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love, Luke Ridnour, Anthony Tolliver and Anthony Randolph finished the first half on a 20-2 run. That same group started the third quarter and ultimately got the game tied at 70-70 before the Bulls reasserted control.
The Wolves have to start games better. And a starting lineup that includes Darko!, Wayne Ellington and a struggling Wes Johnson just isn't cutting it.
Guess how many minutes Darko! played after the first quarter Tuesday? Zero. Ditto for Ellington and Johnson.
Randolph played good defense and scored 18 points. Ridnour, operating with more space when alongside Rubio, scored 22 on 8-for-11 shooting. J.J. Barea came off the bench to score 10. Rubio had 13 points and 12 assists.
Everybody was side-stepping the big question after this game. All Love would say was that it's time for the Wolves to start games better. Rubio just said he supported Adelman in any decision the coach would make and would be there when called upon.
My feeling is that a change will come down for the next game. Bring Johnson off the bench to get him more confidence. Rubio needs to start, even if he doesn't' play the entire first quarter. One way or another the Wolves have to get off to better starts.
Other impressions from tonight:
--I continue to watch Derrick Rose with disbelief. After the game Rubio said Rose was the fastest player he'd ever tried to guard, and probably the best player he'd faced. when Rose starts hitting three-pointers like that, you're in trouble.
--Rubio was wonderful in the Wolves' second-quarter run. He assisted on every Wolves bucket except the one he scored himself.
--Randolph figures to be in line for more minutes after the way he played tonight. He's a different guy when he plays with Rubio.
--J.J. Barea rolled his ankle late in the game. He said he didn't think it was too bad. We'll know more when the Wolves return to practice Thursday.
That's about it for now. The Wolves have tomorrow off, then will practice Thursday before heading to New Orleans.
© 2013 Star Tribune