Adelman tries to ignite lethargic Wolves

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 17, 2014 - 7:02 AM

A lack of urgency, especially on the defensive end, irks the Wolves coach.

A day later, after the latest “worst loss of the season,” Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman was still annoyed.

The Wolves dropped a 111-108 decision Wednesday to Sacramento at Target Center, a game in which the home team looked strangely disengaged for much of the first 3½ quarters. Adelman was upset with his team’s lack of a defensive edge, especially in the paint. And he was still frustrated by a lack of urgency from the beginning.

Which might have explained his decision to bench his starting backcourt of Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin late in a hard-to-take loss to a 13-win team. Adelman went with Alexey Shved and J.J. Barea, who combined to score 16 points with four assists in the fourth quarter as the Wolves attempted a comeback.

“I was trying to find a group that was going to compete and play,” Adelman said. “And something positive was happening, at least. The energy was better.”

Both Rubio and Martin have struggled of late. Rubio’s shot isn’t falling, and he has had difficulty finishing at the rim. Wednesday he had as many turnovers (five) as points. After the game, he talked about trying to “find himself.”

“It’s something I have been missing,” Rubio said. “I just need to keep working, go out and have fun and win some games.”

Adelman said Rubio’s problem isn’t effort, but execution. “He plays very hard,” Adelman said. “He’s got to figure out that basketball is really a game of mistakes. You’ve got to find a way not to make ’em over and over again. He gets really down on himself too much. He’s just got to play, make the easy play. It doesn’t have to be a great play. When something doesn’t happen for him, he tries too hard and that compounds it.”

With Martin, Adelman said the veteran shooting guard has been too tentative.

“He has to be more aggressive,” Adelman said. “I don’t know what it is. We run a lot of different things for him, but sometimes he’s just not really forcing the issue. I think he has to do that. We need him to score.”

Martin averaged 23.1 points per game in his first 17 games. In his past 19, his average is 15.6. Martin dealt with a minor knee problem earlier in the season, but Adelman said that is no longer an issue. What is at issue is a coach deciding to bench his starting backcourt in the fourth quarter of a tight game. It’s clear Adelman is trying to light a fire under his team.

“When things are not going the right way, the only thing I [blame] is myself,” Rubio said. “Sometimes I’m too hard [on myself]. I want to be perfect. I know it’s hard, but it’s the way I am.”

Adelman isn’t harping only on Rubio and Martin. The coach has issues with just about all the Wolves.

“We have to face facts that we’re a .500 team,” he said. “Right now we’re below .500 [18-20]. I told them, ‘If you think you’re a playoff team, why don’t you just forget it? Because you haven’t proven that you are. You haven’t gone out and really established yourselves yet.’ ”

The Wolves head to Toronto to play the Raptors on Friday night having lost two consecutive games and three of the past four. They are in danger of falling three games below .500 for the first time this season.

“The effort has got to be there,” Adelman said.

Adelman said he wants his whole team to break out of its comfort zone, get more aggressive, maybe get a little nastier.

“We need to develop some sort of edge,” forward Kevin Love said. “We talk a lot of trash, we are edgy, in practice. We just need to transition that into the game. We have it in us, we just need to go out and do it.”

  • related content

  • Video: Wolves Daily: Adelman looking for toughness as team heads to Toronto

    Friday January 17, 2014

    Rick Adelman is looking for some answers -- and some toughness -- from his team after Wednesday's home loss...

  • Gameday preview: Wolves at Toronto

    Thursday January 16, 2014

    wolves gameday6 P.M. at Toronto • Air canada centre • fsn, 830-amPreview: The Timberwolves, losers of three of their past...

  • Rand: Love pursuing Griffin to be All-Star starter in fan vote

    Friday January 17, 2014

    The NBA All-Star starters for the 2007 game were announced on Jan. 25. The Wolves had fired Dwane Casey two...

  • Video: Love on possibly being voted an All-Star

    Thursday January 16, 2014

    The Wolves forward would be the first on the team voted into the game since KG in 2007.

  • Wolves Dante Cunningham, Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love reacted after a missed basket by the Wolves during the second half at the Target Center in Minneapolis Wednesday, January 15, 2014. Wolves lose to the Kings 111-108 ] (KYNDELL HARKNESS/STAR TRIBUNE) kyndell.harkness@startribune.com

  • Wolves coach Rick Adelman vented at a referee against the Kings, but he saved some choice criticism for his own team’s play as well.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - WP: R. Belisario 7 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Soria 4
Colorado - LP: P. Hernandez 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 3
St. Louis - WP: S. Miller 6 FINAL
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 2
Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: G. Gonzalez 4
LA Angels - WP: H. Santiago 1 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: R. Webb 0
Seattle - WP: J. Beimel 6 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 5
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 1
Minnesota - LP: C. Thielbar 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6
Toronto - WP: A. Sanchez 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 5
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 4 FINAL
Arizona - WP: O. Perez 7
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 2
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 27 FINAL
Hamilton 26
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Calgary
Atlanta 85 FINAL
Tulsa 75
Phoenix 67 FINAL
Minnesota 75
New York 74 FINAL
Chicago 87
Indiana 76 FINAL
Seattle 67

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the Twins replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close