Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, left, and Kevin Martin reacts during the fourth quarter at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., on Monday, March 24, 2014. (Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal/MCT)
Wolves coach Rick Adelman
Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune
Love not the only one frustrated by Wolves failures
- Article by: JERRY ZGODA
- Star Tribune
- March 26, 2014 - 9:28 AM
Timberwolves star Kevin Love’s frustration over another loss and his team missing the playoffs for a 10th consecutive season became the stuff of Internet chatter Tuesday, the day after he delivered a down and distracted interview following a loss at Memphis.
Deadspin.com linked the video and concluded with a headline that “Kevin Love Is a Broken Man.” It also theorized these could be Love’s final days as a Timberwolf and suggested the team’s fans are enjoying this part of the season more than Love is.
While that is uncertain, it is certain that Love is not alone in his irritation.
“It’s always frustrating when things don’t go your way,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said before Monday’s 109-92 blowout loss. “But it also tells you about people when you’re going through frustration. How do you react to that? In this league you have to be resilient. You have to react. I know Kevin’s frustrated. I am, too. When I take him out of the game, it seems like we can’t find too many answers. That’s just the way it is right now.
‘‘I’m frustrated I haven’t been able to find a more consistent rotation. But I don’t know, you just keep trying things.”
The Wolves have not made the playoffs since Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell took them to the Western Conference finals in 2004. No other NBA team has gone that long without reaching the playoffs.
This season was supposed to be another that would be different. With just 13 games remaining, it has become clear this season won’t be.
“Start of the year, everybody on paper had us doing something,” Adelman said. “I always believed the team’s going to show you who they are and what they’re going to do. That has been the most frustrating thing, trying to get some consistency night in and night out, especially off the bench, guys who are going to give it to you every night.
“But you still have a chance to evaluate, still have a chance to find out. We’re a pretty good group and other than Kevin [Martin] and Ronny [Turiaf], they’re young and they’re not going to be perfect. The evaluation is going to come from all of us and looking at this team at the end of the year.”
When the end of the season comes April 16, both Adelman and the Wolves will have two weeks to decide if each side wants to exercise an option for next season on a four-year contract he signed in fall 2011.
Either side can terminate the contract if they decide to do so in those two weeks.
Shved steps forth
Alexey Shved’s 16 minutes played Monday as backup point guard were his most playing time since a Feb. 10 game against Houston.
With J.J. Barea out because of a sprained foot, Shved went 1-for-7 from the field, had five assists, a steal, a block and a turnover while playing with the ball in his hands for one of the few times this season. Barea is questionable for Wednesday’s game.
“Certainly he has a future in this league, but he has to find his own rhythm,” Adelman said. “He hasn’t played much point guard. Last year and the start of this year, we played him with J.J. and he had really good moments.
‘‘As the year went on, he has struggled somewhat. The hardest thing for him with his [Russian] national team, he has the ball in his hands all the time. He’s the one handling it, making plays. With us, it’s not always that case. He’s got to learn to move without the ball.
“He has been struggling with what to do: Do I finish? Do I pass the ball? What do I do? When you’re not getting the minutes, it’s hard, too…He has to get us into things [playing backup point guard while Barea is out], and he has to have a nice balance to what he’s doing.”
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