Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

Follow Randball on Twitter

Monday (Wolves, Gophers and the weekend that was) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Twins fans, Gophers, Wolves news Updated: January 30, 2012 - 9:15 AM

 

We were edging toward a clean sweep of a weekend. The Gophers men's hockey team swept St. Cloud State, widening its lead in the WCHA in the process while UMD surprisingly stumbled against Michigan Tech. The Gophers men's basketball team upended Illinois with some clutch play in the final seconds of regulation and overtime. The Gophers women's hoops team earned a huge upset of Ohio State. The Gophers women's hockey team added a sweep for good measure. The Wolves defeated San Antonio on Friday. The Wild didn't play. The Twins didn't play, except to sign autographs. The Vikings didn't play, except for the Pro Bowl (where everyone loses, particularly the fans, but we'll let it slide).

 

So we headed into Sunday night -- Wolves vs. Lakers -- dangerously close to a weekend of massive success and no failure. And ... once again, the Wolves cowered at the sight of the exalted .500 mark. It was a reminder that many hurdles remain for this young and exciting team. Among them:

*Learning to deal with a little success. In their three most recent losses -- two of which came in games where they could have climbed back to .500 -- the Wolves have allowed at least 106 points. That could be an indicator that wins have led to relaxing instead of a maintained intensity. Sure, Kobe Bryant was making shots out of his mind last night. But he was also wide open a few times. Pau Gasol had clean looks from 16 feet with nobody running out to put a hand in his face. In short, this team will have to learn that it takes even more effort to keep winning than to start winning.

*Working the suddenly healthy players back into the rotation. The Wolves looked disjointed last night, and part of the reason was the fresh faces out there. Martell Webster and Michael Beasley took 15 shots apiece last night, combining to go 11 of 30. Beasley was reasonably efficient (7 of 15, and 12 rebounds to go with it in 30 minutes). Webster looks like a guy trying to shoot his way back into a rhythm. Brad Miller is playing. J.J. Barea will be back at some point. The minutes don't figure to come away from Kevin Love or Ricky Rubio. It will be interesting to see, then, how the rotation shakes out and how the players who didn't experience winning with fourth-quarter defense integrate back into the mix.

*As Souhan pointed out, the Wolves will continue to have matchup problems until they have a bona fide starting 2 guard. Teams with athletic back-courts and height advantages on the wings have the potential to eat them up (Thunder, Bulls, Lakers).

*Ricky Rubio's all-around brilliance is captivating, but his shooting woes might catch up to Minnesota at some point. In five of Rubio's past seven games, here are his field goal lines: 1-for-8; 1-for-11; 2-for-10; 4-for-16; 2-for-13. The Wolves happen to be 3-2 in those games -- in part in spite of Rubio's shooting, in part because of all his other contributions. He's shooting 35.4 percent from the field this season.

Again, these are growing pains. It is nice to be talking about specific problems instead of an organizational mess. But it also would have been nice if the Wolves could have capped a Minnesota weekend sports sweep.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post By Category

Arts (1) Books (1)
Movies (3) Music (6)
Hobbies (1) Fishing (1)
Society (3) Crime (1)
Sports (523) Baseball (1)
Professional baseball (786) Basketball (13)
College basketball (6) Football (1)
College football (118) Professional football (560)
Technology (1) Food and drink (14)
Politics (1) Transportation (1)
Employment (1) Career development (1)
Cooking (2) Pets (1)
Vikings (1075) Men (3)
Games (1) Gambling (1)
Commercial (1) Animals (3)
Dogs (3) Gripes (1)
Newspapers (1) Beer (6)
Minnesota wine retailers (1) Wine retail + marketing (1)
Bad driving (1) Commuting (1)
High School Sports (1) Family activities (1)
Style (2) Pregnancy (1)
Car buying (1) Retirement (1)
Shopping (1) Chickens (2)
Fruit and berries (1) Weather (1)
Internet (2) Twitter (2)
Video games (2) Web pick (1)
YouTube (1) Birds in the backyard (1)
Business trends (2) Loopholes (1)
Problems on the job (1) The rich get richer (1)
Airlines (1) Midwest getaways (1)
Road trips (1) Skiing (1)
Travel deals (1) Wisconsin (3)
Gopher road games (1) TCF Bank Stadium (1)
NCAA: football (124) Basketball on TV (2)
Gophers coaches (1) Frozen Four (11)
North Dakota (1) College hockey (20)
Fantasy football (12) Golf (84)
Minnesota state tournaments (20) Preps (8)
Soccer (93) WNBA (16)
Wild news (8) Wolves news (393)
NFC (2) Super Bowl (1)
Vikings coaches (1) Behind the scenes (3)
Celebrities (1) Dance (1)
Local TV and radio (2) Ex-players (1)
Injury report (2) Baseball wisdom (1)
Target Field (262) Twins fans (807)
Twins game coverage (17) Twins management (3)
Twins offense (1) Twins pitching (3)
NBA playoffs (1) Wolves draft news (1)
Wolves guards (1) Wolves players (9)
Values and morals (2) Miscreants (1)
Wild coaching (67) Wild game coverage (3)
Wild off-season news (1) Wild player moves (3)
Wild pregame skate (1) Wild trade news (1)
Movies (1) Buffalo Lake-Hector (1)
Ortonville (2) Brad Childress (1)
Stillwater (1) Television (2)
NHL news (97) Outdoors Women (1)
Olympics (2) Olympic hockey (1)
Glen Perkins (1) Health + Beauty (1)
Beer (2) Wine (1)
Public safety (1) Gophers (203)
Pen Pals (1)
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT