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Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman

Genevieve Ross, Special To The Star Tribune

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Ricky Rubio , left, and Greg Stiemsma sat on the bench in the final minutes of the Wolves’ 96-80 loss to Utah in the team’s final home game of the season.

Photos by CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com ,

Utah’s Paul Millsap dunked the ball while Greg Stiemsma arrived too late in the first quarter. Former Wolves center Al Jefferson again was a handful, too, leading the Jazz with 22 points and eight rebounds.

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The Wolves’ Dante Cunningham (33) and Utah’s Al Jefferson fought for a rebound in the second quarter. Cunningham supplied 12 points and five rebounds off the bench.

CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com ,

Wolves lose, now will wait on Adelman's weighty decision

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA
  • Star Tribune
  • April 16, 2013 - 7:36 AM

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman doesn’t know if he coached his final game at Target Center with Monday’s 96-80 loss to Utah, but he said he hopes he will know the answer in the coming weeks rather than months.

The Wolves finish their season Wednesday. Sometime soon after that, Adelman and his wife, Mary Kay, will consult with doctors about her seizures that caused Adelman to miss 11 games in January.

And sometime soon after that, he said he hopes to determine whether he will return to coach his third season for the Wolves.

“It’s just a process you’ve got to go through,” he said. “Everybody says you have to have patience with it. I certainly don’t want to hang out for months or something like that. That’s just not fair. I just don’t think it’s realistic, though, to just talk about that this is what’s going to happen. I think it will take care of itself in the next couple weeks.”

Mary Kay Adelman is improved from January, when she was hospitalized for several days. The next doctor appointments will address, among other things, whether refining her medications can help more. He said they also need to transition to doctors who can manage her condition in Portland, Ore., where they live in the summer.

Adelman said the answers they receive will “weigh heavily” on his decision. The couple has been married more than 40 years and they have six children.

“I’ve tried not to go one way or the other,” he said. “You still have to approach it like you’re going to be back. You have to approach it that way and that’s how I’m probably going to approach it until we get to a point where something comes up differently.”

Somebody asked Adelman before Monday’s game if, given all the hardships this season with player injuries and his wife’s condition, he still enjoys what he does.

“I don’t think you ever enjoy the losing,” he said. “This business is hard and I’ve won a lot of places and that makes it a lot better. When you lose like we’ve lost, you’re trying to change the culture. That has been very hard.”

A season ago, the Wolves lost 13 of their final 14 games in a finish that convinced them to jettison Wes Johnson, Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph, Darko Milicic, Martell Webster and Wayne Ellington and acquired Andrei Kirilenko, Chase Budinger, Brandon Roy and Dante Cunningham, among others.

This season, the Wolves are 7-8 in their past 15 games while playing without star Kevin Love.

“Last year was very hard because I hadn’t experienced something like that, where guys just kind of cashed in,” Adelman said. “This group is not like that. This group is really fun to be around. If one thing has been great, it has been their attitude. Even when they’ve had the injuries, they kept coming and playing. That’s made it a very good situation. You see a lot of positives. If we could just get this group together healthy, you’d like to see what we can do.”

Adelman is thinking and talking about next season. Before Wednesday’s game, he mentioned more than once the team’s need to find a legitimately sized shooting guard — they have started 6-2 Luke Ridnour there most of the season once again — who can break down defenders and get to the basket.

He also wants the team to bring back free agents Nikola Pekovic, Chase Budinger and Andrei Kirilenko, if Kirilenko doesn’t pick up the $10 million option on his contract for next season.

But he also made it clear he’s ready for the season to end.

“There’s no reason to keep playing,” he said. “I don’t want to play 115 more games. Let’s try to finish it and get ready for next year.”



 

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