Wolves' long, winding road schedule is rough

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 28, 2012 - 3:04 PM

Minnesota will be on the road for much of March.

LOS ANGELES - Tuesday night, the Timberwolves begin a stretch when they play three games in three nights and 15 of 21 games away from Target Center.

In other words, the Wolves have the opposition exactly where they want them, right?

The Wolves reached the All-Star break last week by beating Utah on Luke Ridnour's last-second shot to hit .500 for the third time this season.

They are winning equally on the road (7-7) and at home (10-10).

Eleven of 30 teams have won as many road games as they've lost or more, and all but the Wolves and Denver are well over .500 and steaming toward the playoffs.

Nonetheless, Wolves coach Rick Adelman isn't thrilled with this crammed, shortened 66-game season that sends the Wolves packing for most of the next month.

"Five days at home is not my idea," said Adelman, whose team actually spends six days at home in the next 26, "and the teams we play are good teams."

Start with the Clippers on Tuesday, the Lakers on Wednesday, Phoenix on Thursday and Portland on Saturday. Then, when the Wolves do come home, they play the Clippers, Trail Blazers, Lakers and Hornets.

And there's more: Both the Lakers and Suns will be rested this week when the Wolves come visiting after having played the night before or two consecutive nights before.

"I'm still trying to figure out if they realize they didn't schedule Phoenix for a week until we play them," Adelman said. "They don't play until they play us. You'd think they'd make sure they played somebody before we play them for our third straight night. But stranger things have happened."

Back to work

Kevin Love flew family and friends from Orlando and the All-Star Game on a small chartered private jet after Sunday's game while rookies Derrick Williams and Ricky Rubio flew on their own from Florida to Los Angeles.

The rest of the team's players and coaches either flew together from Minneapolis on Monday or arrived in L.A. on their own in time for an evening practice at USC.

Status quo

Love declared himself rested and ready for the season's remaining 32 games even though he spent the weekend competing -- and winning -- the All-Star three-point contest, playing in Sunday's game and making other appearances.

He said he got to bed one night at 8 p.m. and refreshed himself for the demanding schedule that waits ahead and said he is ready to remain the league's leader in minutes played, at 40 minutes a game so far.

"Yeah, I expect it," Love said about continuing to play so many minutes. "I'm just going to continue to be professional, take care of my body, get the proper rest and [do] all I can to be ready to go. There's lots of games coming up."

One more time?

You probably remember Love's winning three-pointer at the buzzer that beat the Clippers the last time these two teams played, Jan. 20 in a Friday night ESPN game televised nationally from Staples Center.

But don't forget this about that game: Adelman stuck center Darko Milicic's long arms and agility on Clippers star Blake Griffin, and Milicic not only made the human dunk machine work for most of what he got, but Milicic also produced a season-high 22 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots before fouling out late in the game.

Milicic played 34 minutes that night, 10 more than any other night this season. He has played only four games and 18 minutes since Feb. 1 because of multiple injuries/illness and because of Adelman's decisions.

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