Effort unacceptable in blowout loss

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 10, 2012 - 3:12 PM

Coach Rick Adelman and forward Kevin Love are among those who believe the Wolves are not working as hard as it takes to win.

view larger photos

  

Wolves coach Rick Adelman had a message for his team before Monday's game with Phoenix.

To summarize: There were precious few games left this season. The team needed to play hard every night. Especially on defense, where desire is more important than any diagram.

Was anybody listening?

The Suns, hot from start to finish, ran the Wolves off the court 114-90. The Suns bench brought energy in abundance and scored with abandon, leading Phoenix to its sixth victory in seven games. The Wolves? It appears both the season and their energy is dwindling as they lost their sixth consecutive game.

"I just told them, 'How do you want to finish the season?'" Adelman said. "That's not good enough. They know it. But you've got to go out and do it. ... We've got to respond.''

But is there enough energy left in the Wolves locker room to do that?

Monday, the Suns -- the team guard Steve Nash has driven into the Western Conference playoff picture -- shot 47-for-82, a 57.3 clip that represents the Suns' best this season and the best by a Wolves opponent. The Wolves stayed fairly close through a quarter, thanks to nine Suns turnovers.

After that? Not so much. The Suns led by double figures for much of the second quarter before the Wolves pulled to within eight at halftime.

But the Suns put it away in the third. The Wolves pulled within five 2 1/2 minutes into the second half. But the Suns responded with a 21-4 run that pushed the lead to 22. The Wolves never got closer than 15 the rest of the way while suffering their most one-sided loss of the season.

Nash and the rest of the Suns starters sat for the final 12 minutes, contributing to the Suns' 66-27 edge in bench scoring. Three of the five Suns players in double figures were reserves, led by Markieff Morris' 21 points.

Defense? "It wasn't there," Adelman said.

"Just ... a lot of letdowns," said Kevin Love, who scored 25 points with 13 rebounds. "It's hard to get out there and see there is no energy. We've put so much time and effort into the season, it's tough, saddening to me, tough for the fans. We need to find a way, in these last games, to pick ourselves up."

The Wolves weren't much better on offense, hitting 38.6 percent of their shots. But it was the lack of defense -- the lack of defensive energy -- that had the Wolves the most frustrated.

"They came with energy," Adelman said of the Suns. "And we have to find it. Each one of us -- coaches, players, everybody. The season is not over, and they have to understand that. I don't know what else to say."

How about this: It doesn't get any easier. The Wolves will face a bevy of teams fighting for playoff position in the coming days; they get Denver, the Clippers and Oklahoma City to finish out just this week.

"It has to come from everybody," Love said. "I feel like a few of us guys were out there fighting, and it needs to be all five guys on the floor. Most of the time it's three or four. And when we're not working as a unit, we're not as solid as we once were. We've taken a dropoff."

The Wolves have eight more games to find that energy before the season ends.

"It's disturbing, and it hurts, to see us go out and not perform the way we did earlier in the season," Martell Webster said. "Energy should not be a question with this team."

Unfortunately for the Wolves, it has become a big question.

"We can't go out like this," Love said.

  • related content

  • Suns' Nash among those missing Rubio

    Tuesday April 10, 2012

    Like just about everybody around the league, Steve Nash remembers being disappointed when Ricky Rubio went down because of a knee injury March 9 against the Lakers.

  • Game recap: Phoenix 114, Wolves 90

    Tuesday April 10, 2012

    GAME RECAPMVPMarkieff Morris, SunsSuns forward came off the bench to score a team-high 21 points with six rebounds and a...

  • Postgame: Where has all the energy gone?

    Monday April 9, 2012

    Wolves struggling down the stretch

  • Minnesota's Kevin Love, right, grabs a rebound against Phoenix center Marcin Gortat.

  • PHOENIX 114, WOLVES 90 UP NEXT: 8 P.M. WEDNESDAY AT DENVER • NO TV (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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: Which local team are you currently most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close