Wolves defense lacking since Rubio was hurt

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 6, 2012 - 6:50 AM

Ever since Ricky Rubio got hurt, the defense has faltered. And Wednesday was the worst.

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Ever since Ricky Rubio (right) got hurt, the Wolves defense has faltered.

Have the compressed schedule and the Wolves' litany of injuries compromised their ability to play effective defense?

There is no question that Ricky Rubio was the team's best perimeter defender and that the loss of center Nikola Pekovic for stretches of the season have hurt. But, after the Wolves blew a 20-point lead in Wednesday's home loss to Golden State, coach Rick Adelman harped on effort (or the lack of it) on the part of his team's defense.

Star forward Kevin Love had this take: "Everybody's tired at this point. I think we just need to go back to our basics. It seems like the farther this season has gone, the worse we have gotten on defense. It's supposed to go the other way."

Here is a look at some ways the Wolves defense has struggled:

7 Quarters, out of a total of 16 recently played, that the Wolves have allowed 30 or more points. That includes Golden State's 38-point third quarter Wednesday.

12 Number of Wolves opponents who have scored 100 or more points the past 20 games. This after the Wolves allowed just 13 of their first 33 opponents to do it.

18 The Wolves' NBA rank, over the past 10 games, in rebound differential (minus-1.1).

27  Where the Wolves rank in the NBA in opponents' field goal percentage the past 10 games (47.8 percent). During its current four-game losing streak Minnesota's opponents have shot a combined 49.8 percent.

28 The Wolves' rank in the NBA in steal differential the past 10 games (minus-2.2).

29 Minnesota's rank the past 10 games in points allowed per game (106.6).

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