Wolves still not protecting the basket

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 15, 2013 - 11:48 PM

The Grizzlies' Jon Leuer (30), a former Orono High star, grabbed a rebound away from the Wolves' Dante Cunningham in the first half Sunday.

Photo: Danny Johnston, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– On Friday in San Antonio, Spurs guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili attacked the basket with impunity and produced a fourth-quarter comeback victory over the Timberwolves.

On Sunday, Memphis point guard Mike Conley did the same, scoring 28 points and willing his team back from a 19-point second-quarter deficit using drives that again exposed both the Wolves’ perimeter defense and lack of a shot blocker.

This time, the Wolves persevered and won in Memphis for the first time in nearly five years. But coach Rick Adelman said he knows opponents watch game footage and note his team’s weakness.

“We’re not really challenging people at all, and we have to get better at it,” Adelman said. “We’ve talked about it all year long. It has been more evident the last three weeks. We’ve played some very good teams, but we still have to do a better job defending people, and we’re just not doing it. Either you challenge shots at the basket or you get outside the arc and take some charges. That’s the way you can protect the rim. We’re not doing either one.”

The Wolves’ only real shot blocker sits on the bench nightly because Adelman deems rookie Gorgui Dieng not ready to play important minutes yet.

“It’s one of those things,” Adelman said. “He’s a rookie, and you’re going to try to get him some minutes, but we’re not at a spot where we can just let him come along. I’m going to try to get him in the game because he is a guy who can make a difference there, but then you’ve got to do it on the other [offensive] end, too. As you’ve seen, our second group has really struggled to score. That’s why I’m leery.”

Martin scoreless and hurting

Wolves guard Kevin Martin went scoreless Sunday for the first time since Valentine’s Day 2012. He played just 19 minutes and took just three shots.

Martin is 5-for-24 shooting in his past three games since mentioning a sore knee in Detroit on Tuesday. Adelman said Martin asked to come out of Sunday’s game in the second half and Adelman decided not to play him at all in the fourth quarter .

“He was hurting,” Adelman said. “He wasn’t moving very well.”

No time for homecomings

Grizzlies first-year coach Dave Joerger didn’t get back home to Staples, Minn., last summer and won’t get home for Christmas either because of all the demands that accompany being an NBA head coach.

“All the things you guys don’t even know about, some I was aware of and some I wasn’t,” he said before Sunday’s game.

He was asked if he has had to wash any jerseys this season like he once did during all those years as a head coach in the minor leagues. “Haven’t lately,” he said. “But I can tell you where all the laundromats are in the CBA.”

Etc.

• Orono’s Jon Leuer reached 15 points for the sixth time in his past seven games coming off the bench for the Grizzlies.

• Wolves star Kevin Love’s 30-point, nine-rebound game was only the second time this season he didn’t record a double-double. J.J. Barea playfully ridiculed his nine lousy rebounds after the game and Love responded in kind by saying Corey Brewer stole at least five of them. With a caravan of friends and family down from his hometown of Portland, Tenn., Brewer’s 12 rebounds were double his previous season high.

•  Adelman on Love’s 42-point game Friday in San Antonio: “One of the best games I’ve ever seen.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 64 3rd Qtr 2:31
Utah 58
Denver 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 62 2nd Half 2:40
Alabama A&M 72
Southern U 51 2nd Half 5:08
Alabama State 50
Prairie View 55 2nd Half 9:30
Ark-Pine Bluff 81
Texas 50 2nd Half 7:52
Iowa State 69
Texas Southern 64 1st OT 5:00
Miss Valley St 64
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 53 2nd Half 6:29
Auburn 35
(15) Nebraska 59 2nd Half 1:23
(20) Iowa 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close