Wolves Ricky Rubio headed downcourt to the crowd's delight after he hit a three point shot from the corner to put the Wolves ahead of the Heat late in the game. ](MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE(firstname.lastname@example.org (cq all names program.)
ATLANTA - Timberwolves fans hooted and hollered when Ricky Rubio made his first two NBA starts this weekend, just maybe not in the way you would have thought.
More than a few voiced their displeasure through social media and other methods, upset that neither Friday's game at New Orleans nor Saturday's game at Atlanta could be seen on local television.
The Wolves are set to televise 50 of their 66 games on FSN this season, which, for now, leaves 16 games dark when new fans are clamoring to see Rubio and Kevin Love.
Two of those came just when Rubio was inserted into the starting lineup.
"We certainly have heard from fans, too," said Wolves senior vice president of marketing and communications Ted Johnson. "We understand their frustration. I'm sure that was painful for fans. It was painful for our staff."
The Wolves last summer ended their 12-game package of over-the-air games on Ch. 29 because of increasing scheduling difficulties with a station obligated to show network programming and because of the cost of buying air time, selling ads and producing their own broadcasts.
This season's five-month labor lockout and its abrupt start Christmas Day didn't allow the Wolves to consider other options to add more games than the 50 its current long-standing contract with FSN calls for the cable station to carry. Johnson said the team never has carried every game; the most was 70 in 2003-04, when Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell combined to win 58 games.
Games on Friday and Saturday were not carried because FSN already had scheduled Gophers and Wild hockey games by the time the shortened 66-game NBA season was configured.
Johnson said one or two over-the-air games may still be added this season. He also said FSN could agree to carry well more than 50 games in coming seasons now that it has its new "plus" channel that allows it to carry two local teams' games simultaneously.
Johnson said he's received "some e-mails, tweets, a couple calls. Not an overwhelming number, but certainly enough to know it's an issue for our fans. We know in a season like this there's just going to be some things that we'll just have to work through."Sensible solutions?
Wolves coach Rick Adelman and his staff debated until not long before game time Saturday before they decided to start Rubio and Luke Ridnour together again for the second consecutive night, even though the Hawks started 6-7 guard Joe Johnson.
His solution for such a mismatch: He asked starting small forward Wes Johnson to defend the other Johnson and put Ridnour, all 6-1 of him, on Hawks 6-9 forward Marvin Williams.
"We're overmatched sizewise completely, but we have to go with our strengths, too," Adelman said. "Just trying to figure out a way to combat them."Go figure ...
At least Adelman didn't have to figure out how to defend Hawks center Al Horford, who is out for the next three months after he tore a pectoral muscle Wednesday at Indiana.
On the same day, Golden State announced forward Kwame Brown would miss three to four months with the same injury.
"I've never heard of that," Adelman said, attributing a rash of injuries leaguewide to a shortened training camp and seriously condensed 66-game season.Who?
Rubio inspired another opposing crowd -- and even other teams' advance scouts sitting courtside -- with his array of passes that included an alley-oop to Wes Johnson for a slam dunk and a nifty behind-the-back pass to Derrick Williams for a layup.
Rubio already has been compared to everybody from Pete Maravich to former Boston Celtics great Bob Cousy, who played in the 1950s. Such a comparison has left at least a few people confused.
"I didn't watch Cousy play," said New Orleans coach Monty Williams, "and when I see those highlights, I still don't know which one he is."
|Minnesota||20||4th Qtr 8:21|
|Baltimore||7||3rd Qtr 0:27|
|Detroit||17||4th Qtr 7:15|
|Cleveland||13||4th Qtr 8:00|
|Atlanta||20||4th Qtr 5:48|
|Green Bay||20||4th Qtr 2:45|
|Kansas City||9||4th Qtr 4:17|
|New England||17||4th Qtr 4:38|
|NY Giants||3:05 PM|
|Denver||12/22/14 7:30 PM|
|New York||2:30 PM|
|LA Lakers||5:00 PM|
|New Orleans||6:00 PM|
|Holy Cross||42||2nd Half 4:04|
|Southern Miss||51||2nd Half 1:57|
|Western Carolina||52||2nd Half 6:19|
|Creighton||41||2nd Half 5:44|
|Maryland||62||2nd Half 4:42|
|Cornell||49||2nd Half 7:52|
|Vermont||44||2nd Half 3:18|
|Loyola-Maryland||43||2nd Half 4:41|
|Reinhardt||59||2nd Half 8:24|
|Ark-Little Rock||46||2nd Half 1:39|
|TX-Pan American||58||2nd Half 6:31|
|Alabama State||60||2nd Half 9:36|
|FIU||47||2nd Half 12:21|
|Goshen||30||2nd Half 16:31|
|Bryant||13||1st Half 3:58|
|Austin Peay||16||1st Half 5:17|
|Tennessee St||18||1st Half 5:10|
|South Dakota||28||1st Half 3:10|
|ULM||7||1st Half 13:50|
|Coker||5||1st Half 18:09|
|Northern Ariz||3:00 PM|
|SD Christian||3:00 PM|
|UC Irvine||3:30 PM|
|Seton Hall||5:00 PM|
|Appalachian St||5:30 PM|
|North Dakota St||6:00 PM|
|San Jose St||6:00 PM|
|Alcorn State||8:00 PM|
|Sacramento St||9:00 PM|
|BYU||12/22/14 1:00 PM|
|Marshall||12/23/14 5:00 PM|
|Navy||12/23/14 8:30 PM|
|San Diego St|
|Central Mich||12/24/14 11:00 AM|
|Fresno State||12/24/14 7:00 PM|
|Illinois||12/26/14 12:00 PM|
|Rutgers||12/26/14 3:30 PM|
|NC State||12/26/14 7:00 PM|
|Cincinnati||12/27/14 12:00 PM|
|Duke||12/27/14 1:10 PM|
|(15) Arizona State|
|Miami-Florida||12/27/14 3:00 PM|
|Boston College||12/27/14 3:30 PM|
|(25) Nebraska||12/27/14 7:00 PM|
|(1) South Carolina||84|
|Mount St Marys||49|
|William & Mary||51|
|South Dakota St||64||FINAL|
|(5) Notre Dame||64|
|(3) Texas||67||2nd Half 0:03|
|(4) Texas A&M||65|
|South Florida||53||2nd Half 11:18|
|Sam Houston St||42||2nd Half 0:33|
|Evansville||37||2nd Half 7:17|
|(14) Maryland||104||2nd Half 3:13|
|Mercer||55||2nd Half 4:47|
|Coll of Charleston||62|
|NC A&T||32||2nd Half 8:41|
|Princeton||78||2nd Half 4:21|
|Eastern Illinois||65||2nd Half 1:37|
|Rider||59||2nd Half 5:25|
|SC State||43||2nd Half 2:53|
|Fairfield||54||2nd Half 4:20|
|Richmond||66||2nd Half 2:23|
|Cleveland State||74||2nd Half 2:10|
|Kent State||58||2nd Half 3:47|
|South Alabama||43||2nd Half 0:45|
|Saint Peters||35||2nd Half 0:59|
|Youngstown St||37||2nd Half 7:47|
|NJIT||43||2nd Half 5:56|
|Davidson||35||2nd Half 8:21|
|Indiana State||31||2nd Half|
|Southern U||20||2nd Half 18:04|
|Wright State||22||2nd Half 16:54|
|(19) Oklahoma St||20||1st Half 5:07|
|Houston||18||1st Half 3:43|
|Ark-Little Rock||19||1st Half 6:10|
|Dayton||26||1st Half 3:45|
|Northern Ariz||13||1st Half 6:15|
|UNC-Asheville||11||1st Half 10:52|
|North Dakota||21||1st Half 5:47|
|Western Ill||21||1st Half 6:19|
|Elon||14||1st Half 9:35|
|(6) North Carolina||29|
|Ball State||13||1st Half 6:36|
|(8) Kentucky||16||1st Half 5:55|
|New Orleans||12||1st Half 4:24|
|Chicago State||24||1st Half 2:33|
|Bowling Green||28||1st Half 6:42|
|Ill-Springfield||15||1st Half 9:44|
|SE Missouri St||15|
|Northern Ill||12||1st Half 4:00|
|(23) Iowa||30||1st Half 7:22|
|Western Carolina||2:30 PM|
|Central Michigan||0||1st Half 19:29|
|Cal Poly||3:00 PM|
|No Dakota State||3:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Idaho State||3:00 PM|
|(18) Michigan State||3:00 PM|
|Fresno State||4:00 PM|
|St Francis-PA||4:00 PM|
|(10) Louisville||4:00 PM|
|(21) Miss State|