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.

How quickly things turn: Wolves lose fourth straight, 102-89 at Orlando

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves postgame, Wolves news Updated: February 14, 2012 - 2:56 AM

Remember just a week ago, when the Wolves were a game over. 500 and the concept of contending for a playoff spot wasn't such a crazy thought?

Well, there's certainly no need to panic yet, but...

From 13-12 after beating Sacramento last Monday to 13-16 now, the Wolves lost their fourth consecutive game this Monday night.

Here's the game story from the game, when the Wolves and big Pek got Dwight Howard into early foul trouble and still couldn't take advantage of a night when he had just 11 points and seven rebounds.

Some really quick hits:

* You got a look at a "real" sized shooting guard tonight when Martell Webster started beside Ricky Rubio. His stat line was modest at best -- 23-plus minutes, one for four shooting, 5 points, 4 rebounds -- but even not back to full health yet, he looks like their most determined, best equipped perimeter defender on the wing. Give him time to play his way back into full shape and let's see.

* Rick Adelman has insisted on playing two -- and sometimes three -- point guards and tonight with Luke Ridnour back in Minnesota with his year-old son and family, J.J. Barea and Rubio accounted for 12 of the team's 18 turnovers.

And those 18 were a big step forward from the 28 they had Friday against Dallas and 23 Saturday against New York.

To be fair, Barea accounted for seven turnovers himself, and he played just 25 minutes and didn't have the ball in his hands all night like Rubio did (39 1/2 minutes).

* Darko! made his return after missing six games with that quad injury and then a sprained ankle, but that return lasted fewer than four minutes in the second quarter. 

He picked up three quick fouls, went to the bench and stayed there the rest of the night while Pekovic again showed that Love isn't the only double-double machine. Pek had 16 and 13 tonight and outplayed DH-12, but I'm wouldn't turn down a straight-up deal for the two just yet.

* I'm not ready to trade Michael Beasley yet this instant, but it's getting closer and closer to start thinking about trying to get something for him by the March 15 trade deadline, isn't it?

Is he worth waiting on for what it will cost to re-sign him this summer -- probably $4-5 million a year at the very least and quite possibly well more than that -- or are the Wolves better off investing that money (and what they would have to pay Anthony Randolph as well) into a 2 guard that Adelman is confident will fit into his system, such as Kevin Martin or his Rockets teammate, Courtney Lee, who will be a restricted free agent.

Beasley scored 13 on 5-for-13 shooting Monday night and doesn't seem to be embracing this sixth-man role, does he?

* Anybody ready to give up on Derrick Williams already?

Me, neither, although it may someday not that long from now become evident that they'll need to trade him to balance the roster for a true wing scorer or athletic center.

* Wasn't this supposed to be a good shooting team?

I thought so at one time, actually thought it would be this team's great strength. But once again, they couldn't seem to make a shot  tonight. Is this season so far really who they are, particularly guys like Williams and Johnson (both of whom started their rookie seasons looking pretty proficient with their outside shots)?

That's it from Orlando for tonight.

Kent's got the team for the next few days and their Wednesday night game against Charlotte at Target Center and I'll pick them back up in Houston later this week.

Check back tomorrow for Kent's musings from practice, if indeed the Wolves do practice Tuesday.

 

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