Chicago's rise fills Love with envy

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 31, 2011 - 12:53 AM

Back after missing three games with a groin injury, the Wolves' star pointed to the Bulls' unselfish play as a pattern to follow.

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Kevin Love insisted his body felt fine after he returned from a three-game absence in time for Wednesday's 108-91 loss to Chicago, the Timberwolves' eighth consecutive defeat.

It was his spirit that seemed hurting.

"I felt fine, still a little tender, still a little restrictive," he said about a groin injury, "but that's no excuse for how we played tonight."

The way the Wolves played was in exact opposition to the performance  the Bulls delivered.

Missing the injured Joakim Noah but guided decisively by MVP favorite Derrick Rose, the Bulls moved the ball with such precision (31 assists, 41 baskets made) and defended with such aplomb that Love found himself envious of a team he foresees going "very, very far" in the playoffs.

He just might have been feeling that way because the Bulls, at least on this night, looked to be everything the Wolves aren't.

"They're pretty good," Love said. "I was saying that in the third quarter. They're pretty damn good. They're all on the same page. You can tell everybody has utmost respect for each [other] and they're in it to win. In that regard, I envy that, I salivate for that. I like that a lot.

"Until we all sacrifice for the better of the team, we won't be there."

Three nights after they trailed Boston by 25 and lost by three, the Wolves fell behind by 13 in the first and by as many as 24 in the third quarter before coach Kurt Rambis pulled the starters for the final, anticlimactic quarter.

Afterward, he again lamented his team's lack of "effort and intensity and focus" for most of the game.

"It wasn't there tonight," he said.

He was asked whether his players are counting the days and the games until this season, with 17 wins so far, mercifully ends.

For the record, seven games and 14 days remain.

"You can ask them that in the locker room," he said, "if you hurry up."

Does it look to him like they are?

He said he wasn't pleased with Wednesday's loss or a 33-point home loss to Sacramento 10 days earlier, but said his team did a "good job" in losses to Dallas, Oklahoma City and Boston.

"It's hard on the guys," he said. "I feel bad for the guys to have to suffer through a season like this. It's very hard on the players emotionally to have to go through a season like this. They don't see themselves as losers. It's very, very difficult. It's very emotionally draining to have to go through a season like this."

It was the sixth game in a seven-game stretch against the Lakers, the Mavericks, the Thunder, the Celtics, the Bulls and Miami.

"It's not the ideal situation to end up a season like ours playing the caliber of teams we're playing," Rambis said. "But I also think it's a good challenge for them. This is a good opportunity for our guys to see how tough and physical and nasty individuals and teams can be when they're really fighting for something."

The view Wednesday night wasn't pretty.

"It looks like it's a lot of fun playing like that," Wolves forward Anthony Tolliver said. "If we do play like that, we do have a lot of fun. We just don't do it on a regular basis. They've got a lot of veteran guys, good players who just have bought in completely and it's turned them into the one of the best teams in the league.

"They can win everything if they get things rolling at the right time. They're one of the few teams that I think have a chance to win it all."


• Backup center Nikola Pekovic missed his second consecutive game because of a strained right hip, an injury sustained Friday at Oklahoma City. He said he definitely will play again this season, perhaps as soon as Miami makes its only visit of the season to Target Center on Friday.

• Noah warmed up before the game but determined he couldn't play because of a sprained ankle. Veteran forward Kurt Thomas started in his place.

  • CHICAGO 108, WOLVES 91

    Up next: 7 p.m. Friday vs. Miami • Target Center • TV: Ch. 29 (1130-AM)

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NY Yankees 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Toronto 0
Detroit 3 Bottom 1st Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront 1:15 PM
St. Louis - J. Masterson
Cincinnati - A. Simon 3:05 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 7 2nd Qtr 3:07
UAB 24
(7) UCLA 14 2nd Qtr 1:40
Virginia 3
Western Mich 14 2nd Qtr 6:35
Purdue 13
(5) Ohio State 6 2nd Qtr 2:04
Navy 7
Appalachian St 0 2nd Qtr 2:17
Michigan 21
Ga Southern 10 2nd Qtr 8:35
NC State 3
Boston College 2:00 PM
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Marshall 2:30 PM
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Colorado 3:00 PM
New England 4:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Chicago 6:00 PM
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