Postgame: Another second-half meltdown
- Blog Post by: Kent Youngblood
- April 12, 2012 - 10:36 PM
There was a point in the fourth quarter Thursday when Wolves coach Rick Adelman decided center Nikola Pekovic needed a rest.
Only one problem: He didn't have anybody who could go in. That is the state of the Wolves' roster these days, with Ricky Rubio gone, Luke Ridnour hurt, Kevin Love out, Wayne Ellington nursing a sore back and Darko.... well, you get the idea.
Kent Youngblood here. I covered the game tonight.
The reason he couldn't sub out for Nikola was that Anthony Tolliver had taken a hit to the head and had been removed from the game for precautionary reasons. He'll be OK. But that didn't help Adelman in the fourth quarter.
"We keep having players get hurt," Adelman said. "It's mind-boggling to me."
The Wolves were eliminated from playoff contention tonight. No playoffs for the eighth straight season. This one didn't end pretty, with the Wolves shooting less than 30 percent in the second half.
But what do you expect? The Wolves have one ball-handler with NBA experience in J.J. Barea, and he played the second half with eight stitches in his lower lip thanks to a Chris Paul hit late in the second quarter. With so many of the Wolves shooters hurt, the Clippers simply clogged the lane and dared the Wolves to hit jumpers. And they couldn't.
Some observations from tonight:
--Anthony Randolph showed some real energy for the second straight night. He and Michael Beasley combined for 30 points and 19 rebounds. Yes, they made some mistakes, forced a few things. But both played very hard.
--Barea became the fourth player in the last 15 years for the Wolves to get a points-assists double-double in the first half of the game. But he let the officiating get to him.
--In a time when the Wolves are hurting for bodies, starting forwards Wes Johnson and Derrick Williams have to do better than a combined 2-for-13.
That's about all for now. Have a good night.
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