Adelman: Wolves will miss Rubio's defense

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 13, 2012 - 12:04 AM

The Timberwolves played on without Ricky Rubio's inventive playmaking and offensive flair on Monday in Phoenix, three days after he tore a knee ligament and is now lost for the season.

hide

The Knicks' Jared Jeffries came up with a lose ball as the Wolves' Ricky Rubio (left) and Luke Ridnour defended.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

PHOENIX - The Timberwolves played on without Ricky Rubio's inventive playmaking and offensive flair on Monday in Phoenix, three days after he tore a knee ligament and is now lost for the season.

For all that he provided at that end, they might miss his defense more. Rubio was third in the league in steals, at 2.22 a game, when he was injured.

"I think we're really going to miss him there because he's really good at keeping his guy in front of him," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "That's probably the biggest thing. The way we play is going to change some and that concerns me more than anything else. We have to be solid defensively if we're going to be able to play a different way and we weren't that way against New Orleans.

"We may have to tweak things and come at it from a different way now. It's not so much the X's and O's, it's the energy level he always brought us."

That kind of energy was nowhere to be found in Saturday's home loss to New Orleans. And now the Wolves play their next seven games on the road, starting with Monday's game at Phoenix. It's a trip that could go a long way to determining whether they make the playoffs.

Asked how long it might take his team to get used to life without Rubio, Adelman said, "I was hoping it could happen that quick. After the New Orleans game, I begin to wonder the way we played in that game. We just had no energy and life. These guys have to respond. You can't feel sorry for yourself. You have to go out and play. We need to win. It's no different than before he got hurt."

Just like Mars said?

Guard J.J. Barea declared himself ready to play Monday after missing two games because of a sprained ankle. He has switched from low cuts to high-top basketball shoes, just to see if it might make a difference in a season when he has hit with hamstring, calf and ankle injuries. "Just to try something different, change it up," he said.

Kevin Love started Monday's game even though he left the morning shootaround moving carefully with ice bags strapped to a sore back that kept him out of Friday's game against the Lakers because of spasms.

Clock's ticking

The Wolves have until Thursday's 2 p.m. Central time trade deadline to make a deal that would add a guard, but Adelman doesn't appear to be holding his breath. Forward Michael Beasley is the most likely player to be traded, but only if the Wolves can get something of value in return.

"These guys have built a base, and we've got to somehow find a way with these guys," Adelman said. "If somebody is added, then we have to look at that. That's why I'm not sure what will happen in this league. If teams make moves, you might bring in one guy who can slip in and help. But with only 27 games left and no practices, it's going to be hard to incorporate two, three guys in, like some of these teams are talking about if they make a big trade."

Rubio's road back

Rubio's rehabilitation from that torn knee ligament already has begun. He tweeted on Sunday and Monday photos of himself on an exercise bike and a therapy table, and he's smiling in both.

"He was a lot more upbeat than I thought he'd be when I talked to him," Adelman said. "But that's who he is and that's why you've got to feel he's going to be pretty positive in his comeback."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 4 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Minnesota 2
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Washington 1
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 4
NY Yankees 10 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
Tampa Bay 0 Cancelled
Baltimore 0
Detroit 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Chicago WSox 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Chicago Cubs 6
Texas 3 Top 8th Inning
Oakland 4
Cleveland 1 Bottom 8th Inning
Arizona 1
Arizona 7 Bottom 8th Inning
LA Angels 1
Miami 0 Cancelled
Houston 0
Seattle 8:05 PM
Kansas City
San Francisco 9:05 PM
Los Angeles
Colorado 9:05 PM
San Diego
Milwaukee 9:05 PM
Cincinnati
Detroit 6:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Charlotte 6:00 PM
Washington
Boston 6:30 PM
New York
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
LA Lakers 6:30 PM
Toronto
Miami 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Golden State 7:00 PM
Memphis
Sacramento 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Houston
Dallas 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Utah 8:00 PM
Denver
Portland 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Calgary 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Columbus 7:30 PM
Chicago
Dallas 8:30 PM
Edmonton
UCLA 6:15 PM
Gonzaga
NC State 6:37 PM
Louisville
Utah 8:45 PM
Duke
Kent State 9:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Michigan State 9:07 PM
Oklahoma
(15) North Carolina 6:00 PM
(3) South Carolina
(18) Iowa 6:30 PM
(5) Baylor
(9) Arizona State 8:30 PM
(7) Florida State
(14) Stanford 9:00 PM
(2) Notre Dame
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: What are you following most closely right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close