Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Hitting bottom

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves postgame Updated: April 6, 2011 - 10:16 PM

After yet another loss a lot of the same things were said.

Once again Wolves coach Kurt Rambis lauded the team's effort, but bemoaned the breakdowns on defense, the trouble trying to guard the Phoenix Suns' pick-and-roll offense, the misses on offense that translated into lapses on defense. The bottom line was another loss and a 17-62 record, which is a half-game worse than Cleveland, which won at Toronto.

"It's been a frustrating year," Rambis said. "I feel bad for our guys. It's very hard, emotionally, on players to go through a season like this. To accumulate the number of wins we've accumulated. It's difficult for them. I feel bad for our players."

The players? Heard a lot of familiar things there, too.

Once again hard-working Anthony Tolliver wondered why the whole team didn't have a sense of urgency, why the team keeps making the same mistakes, keeps losing the same way. "We're just playing stagnant right now," he said. "The things we're doing are the same, exact things over and over. That's what's so frustrating. If I saw improvement, game-by-game, at least you'd know we were going in the right direction. But I don't think we're really going anywhere right now."

Meanwhile, veteran Martell Webster -- who continued his recent streak of strong play off the bench -- was saying many of the same things in a slightly different way.

"We have to get better, plain and simple...," Webster said. "They have to understand what it takes to win. ... At some point you just say, '(Heck) with it, I'll do the things it takes to win games.'  That means taking charges, getting loose balls, contesting every jump shot. Once we do those things, we'll start moving in the right direction."

Only three games left in this season, so it remains to be seen whether the Wolves can end this one on a positive note. The Wolves, having completed a back-to-back, will get a day off from practice Thursday.

Some other thoughts from the game:

--Michael Beasley had his second straight double-double, with 24 points and 11 rebounds. But  he needed 23 shots to get there and he only got to the free throw line four times. And, once again, turnovers were a huge issue. he had a team-high five turnovers. At least three times he simply threw the ball to a Suns player.

--Anthony Randolph again showed flashes of that potential. He scored 19 points off the bench and got to the line eight times. He also had three assists.

--As Rambis said, the pick and roll has been in the NBA forever, and with good reason. When run well, it's very hard to stop. Having said that, the Wolves have to get better. Steve Nash only needed to play 22 minutes in this game and the Suns will won without breaking too much of a sweat. Nash and backup Aaron Brooks combined for 25 points, 15 assists, five rebounds and two steals.

--Center Darko Milicic reinjured his left ankle and left after having played  just 10 minutes.

--Kevin Love missed another game. I think we'll know on Friday whether we'll see him in action again this season.

--The Suns bench outscored the Wolves bench 58-43. four Suns reserves finished in double figures.

 

That's about it. Have a good night.

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