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Charles Barkley weighs in: Bench Rubio, start Kris Dunn

The Timberwolves need to make a change at the point guard position and speed up the game, Charles Barkley expressed late Thursday night on TNT’s Inside the NBA.

The Wolves led Toronto by a point at the end of the third quarter and lost by double figures, 124-110, in the first game of the network’s doubleheader. The blown lead marked the 10th time this season the Wolves have lost when leading after the first quarter or at halftime.

“They’ve got to figure out who their point guard is going to be and they have to play at a much-faster pace,” Barkley began his breakdown. “You just turn them loose.”

Kenny Smith also wants to see the Wolves play faster and as a result produce more possessions and scoring opportunities.

Barkley said “With [Zach] LaVine, [Andrew] Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns they should not be one of the lowest scoring teams in the NBA.”

The Wolves’ 104.4 points per game average ranks 15th in the league and 2,296 total points are 19th.  They share the third-worst record in the NBA at 6-16.

Shaquille O’Neal asked if Barkley’s adjustment meant moving Ricky Rubio into an off-the-bench role.

“Yes, Rubio should come off the bench. It should be Kris Dunn starting,” Barkley answered. “You have to play him. Plus, he’s your point guard of the future. Your team is not going to be really good for the next two or three years and he’s the guy that is going to be there.”

Smith added “[Dunn] needs playing time and he will mature once you allow him to get into an offensive rhythm.”

Rubio played 29 minutes and was 2-of-7 shooting for seven points with three assists and three rebounds. Dunn played 19 minutes off the bench, scored four points on 2-of-5 shooting, and had five assists.

Barkley also called for Towns to get more touches. Towns had just four field-goal attempts and two points in the first half.

“Feel free to get [Towns] the ball, too. That would probably make your team better,” Barkley said. “He should have more than four attempts at halftime.”

Challenge yourself: How much Minnesota sports can you watch?


Minnesota sports fans trying to consume Friday night’s loaded sports menu might be overwhelmed by all the offerings.

The Timberwolves, Wild, Gophers men’s basketball, Gophers men’s and women’s hockey, and Gophers volleyball all are battling for your attention.

There is no need to question your loyalty to any of these teams, though. We have game-planned a way for you to stay engaged/watch all six teams Friday night.

Here’s how:

The Gophers men’s hockey team leads off the full schedule at 5:30 p.m., so the early start time will make your first your first sampling an obvious choice. The Gophers and Michigan State can be watched on the Big Ten Network or if you have not found your way to the couch or lounge chair, stream it on BTN2Go or the Fox Sports app.

The first period should be wrapped up when the No. 2- ranked Gophers women’s hockey team hits the ice against Boston University. The game won’t be televised, but can be streamed online by Campus Insiders at 6 p.m. The Gophers women’s hockey twitter account is another great way to stay updated.

After a period of Gophers women’s hockey or two of Big Ten hockey, the Timberwolves and Wild will begin fighting for your attention. The Wolves host Detroit and the Wild face off against Edmonton, both at 7 p.m.

Jump to Fox Sports North Plus for the first quarter of the Wolves-Pistons. The Wolves have been one of best-starting teams this season and led two of the league’s top teams San Antonio and Toronto after one quarter this week. The first half as a whole usually plays out well for the Wolves, but it’s a much different story after halftime when they continue to blow leads.

Pop back to BTN for the end of the Gophers men’s hockey game before upgrading to the Wild on Fox Sports North. By this time, the Wild should be in the second period. If you prefer hockey to basketball, start your 7 p.m. course with the Wild. They have scored four goals in the first period in three games this month.

Be sure to check in on Gophers volleyball in the NCAA tournament after your first dose of the Wolves or Wild. The Gophers and Missouri meet in the Sweet 16 at 7:15 p.m. streamed on ESPN3.                                                         

You might start getting full after two-and-a-half hours of sampling, but save room for Gophers men’s basketball’s 8 p.m. tipoff against Georgia Southern on BTN. The Gophers (8-1) are playing for their ninth win of the season, one more win than they had all last season.

Don’t bother rushing back to the Wolves. They have consistently been blown out in the third quarter this season. Check back around 9 p.m. in the fourth quarter to make sure you don’t miss the end of a close game.

Devote the 8:30 to 9:30 hour, maybe more, to the Wild. Their last five games have been won or lost by a goal and three were decided in overtime or a shootout.

The Gophers men’s basketball team will close out nearly five hours of sports viewing with the late start likely leading to a post-10 p.m. finish.

Sunday’s sports menu is just as full, but scheduled in a much more digestible way.

The Vikings kick off the day against Jacksonville at noon on Fox. The Gophers women’s basketball team visits South Carolina at 2 p.m. on the SEC Network. Gophers men’s basketball hosts Northern Illinois at 4 p.m., which is not on TV, but can be streamed on BTN Plus. The Wild face St. Louis at 5 p.m. on FSN Plus. The Wolves wrap up the busy sports weekend against Golden State at 6 p.m. on FSN.

For the sports fans that can multitask, grab a computer, tablet or smart phone and stream the games on as many screens you can find, take a pictures and email to us.

On the air Friday
College men's hockey: Gophers at Michigan State, 5:30 p.m., BTN, 1500-AM
College women's hockey: Gophers at Boston University, 6 p.m., Campus Insiders.com (stream)
NHL: Edmonton at Wild, 7 p.m., FSN, 100.3-FM
NBA: Detroit at Timberwolves, 7 p.m., FSN Plus, 830-AM
College women's volleyball: Missouri at Gophers, 7:15 p.m., ESPN3 (stream)
(If Gophers win they play Saturday at 9 p.m. on ESPNU)
College men’s basketball: Georgia Southern at Gophers, 8 p.m., BTN, 107.1-FM

On the air Sunday
NFL: Vikings at Jacksonville, noon, Ch. 9, 100.3-FM
College women’s basketball: Gophers at South Carolina, 2 p.m., SECN, 88.5-FM
College basketball: Northern Illinois at Gophers, 8 p.m., BTN Plus (stream), 1500-AM
NHL: St. Louis at Wild, 5 p.m., FSN Plus, 100.3-FM
NBA: Golden state at Timberwolves, 6 p.m., FSN, 830-AM

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Gophers men's hockey at Michigan State

    5:30 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Boston U.

    6 pm

  • Edmonton at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Detroit at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 830-AM

  • Georgia Southern at Gophers men's basketball

    8 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Boston U.

    2 pm

  • Gophers men's hockey at Michigan State

    7 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Vikings at Jacksonville

    12 pm on Ch. 9, 100.3/1130

  • Gophers women's basketball at South Carolina

    2 pm on SECN, 88.5-FM

  • Northern Illinois at Gophers men's basketball

    4 pm on 1500-AM

  • St. Louis at Wild

    5 pm on FSN PLUS, 100.3-FM

  • Golden State at Timberwolves

    6 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Florida at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Chicago

    7 pm on ESPN, 830-AM

  • Belmont at Gophers women's basketball

    12 pm on 88.5-FM

  • LIU Brooklyn at Gophers men's basketball

    7 pm on 1500-AM

  • Wild at Nashville

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

Today's Scoreboard

No MLB games today

No NFL games today

  • Orlando

    Charlotte

     

    - 1st, 9:31

    2

    4

  • Toronto

    Boston

    6:30 PM

  • Miami

    Cleveland

    6:30 PM

  • Atlanta

    Milwaukee

    7:00 PM

  • Detroit

    Minnesota

    7:00 PM

  • Houston

    Oklahoma City

    7:00 PM

    ESPN

  • Indiana

    Dallas

    7:30 PM

  • New York

    Sacramento

    9:30 PM

  • Phoenix

    LA Lakers

    9:30 PM

    ESPN

  • Washington

    Buffalo

     

    - 1st, 15:43

    0

    0

  • Columbus

    Detroit

    6:30 PM

  • St. Louis

    New Jersey

    6:30 PM

  • Edmonton

    Minnesota

    7:00 PM

    FSN

  • NY Rangers

    Chicago

    7:30 PM

  • San Jose

    Anaheim

    9:00 PM

No MLS games today