Playing without Rubio? 'Like the start of the season all over again”

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 11, 2012 - 12:41 AM

Sure, they missed Ricky Rubio, but energy and smarts were lacking, too.

view larger photos

  

It was quiet inside Target Center before the Wolves' game with New Orleans on Saturday night. It was as if fans were wondering, what now? Or: what next?

It was quiet in the team's pre-game shootaround, too. "You could feel everybody was a little bit disappointed," Anthony Tolliver said. "He's gone for the season."

The Wolves played the first game of the rest of their season without Ricky Rubio, who tore the ACL in his left knee in the closing seconds of Friday's loss to the Lakers.

If everyone was a bit apprehensive -- either in the stands or on the bench -- it was understandable. So, before the game, Kevin Love got up and circled the floor, clapping his hands, trying to get the crowd on its feet.

With rare exceptions they never really did.

In a 95-89 loss to the Hornets the Wolves turned the ball over too much and didn't play enough defense. As coach Rick Adelman said, "It's like the start of the season all over again."

But here's the question: Is this the Wolves fans can expect, sans Rubio, for the rest of the season? Or can this be explained away as an emotional hangover?

Time will tell.

"We definitely missed him tonight," said Love, who scored a game-high 31 points with 16 rebounds. He, Nikola Pekovic (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Luke Ridnour (14 points, 10 assists) had double-doubles.

But that didn't make up for defense that allowed the Hornets -- owners of the worst record in the Western Conference -- to break a four-game losing streak.

Love talked about the "emotional shock" of losing Rubio. "He makes winning plays, he's a winner," Love said. Still, before the game the message, from Adelman on down, was that players have to step up, and that the playoffs are still a goal.

And then this: The Hornets picked up 28 assists on 39 shots, getting just about any look they wanted. The Wolves? Playing with only one true point guard -- J.J. Barea is still injured -- the team turned the ball over 17 times, leading to 25 Hornets points.

Chris Kaman led four scores in double figures with 20 points for New Orleans, which used an 11-0 run in the first half to take control.

Down seven in the fourth, the Wolves rallied to tie the game at 74 on Love's two free throws with 9:03 left. But, with the Wolves missing eight consecutive shots, the Hornets scored the game's next 11 points.

"It was the worst game in a long time," said Adelman, who refused to use Rubio's injury as an excuse. "We are who we are. At the defensive end that shouldn't be a factor. That's effort, communication. It wasn't there."

Love agreed. "Everyone, myself included, needs to step up. We can't shoot that poorly, play that badly on defense, we can't bring no energy. We miss Ricky, but mostly that was a bad effort."

Still, without Rubio the Wolves will have to find other ways to operate efficiently on offense, even when Barea returns from his sprained ankle, which could be a soon as Monday in Phoenix.

"We were all used to him being the starting point guard," said Martell Webster, who moved into the starting lineup Saturday. "He's injured, out for the season. It's devastating. But we have to bounce back."

Said Love: "There was no energy. I don't know if it was the emotions of last night. We just didn't bring it tonight."

• Love said his sore back came as the result of having fallen on his hip a few times and from a hit he took from Nicolas Batum last week against Portland. Love said he will require regular treatment going forward.

  • NEW ORLEANS 95, WOLVES 89

    Up next: 9 p.m. Monday at Phoenix • TV: FSN (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati 1 Top 6th Inning
Pittsburgh 3
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
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
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
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 27 4th Qtr 14:52
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 17 3rd Qtr
(2) Alabama 20
Rice 10 3rd Qtr
(17) Notre Dame 28
(10) South Dakota St 10 3rd Qtr 13:01
(24) Missouri 21
Fla Atlantic 7 3rd Qtr
(22) Nebraska 31
California 24 3rd Qtr 15:00
Northwestern 7
Marshall 28 3rd Qtr
Miami-Ohio 3
UC Davis 0 2nd Qtr 0:25
(11) Stanford 35
Arkansas 21 2nd Qtr 2:45
(6) Auburn 21
(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
Florida
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
Texas
(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
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
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
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 2nd Half 35:00
Seattle 1
New England 1 1st Half 25:00
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
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
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close