Rand: April is month of misery for Wolves

  • Updated: April 19, 2012 - 6:41 AM

The Wolves have lost 27 April games in a row, dating back to 2009.

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Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has yet to win an April game. The last time the Wolves did was in 2009.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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Wolves coach Rick Adelman has done his best to distance himself from the franchise's most galling losing streaks, often saying he didn't want the credit/blame for things that happened before he arrived this season.

"I have enough trouble with the three we have this year," Adelman said in early January after the Wolves' first victory of the season snapped an overall 18-game losing streak (15 of which came at the end of the Kurt Rambis era).

Unfortunately for Adelman, he can't hide from this: Minnesota has now lost 27 consecutive games in the month of April -- an NBA record for any single month -- and Adelman's squad has contributed 10 of them. The streak spans three head coaches and more than three calendar years. Here is a look back at the bad, the worse and the ugly:

The last April win: It was April 8, 2009. Kevin McHale was coaching the squad, having taken over for Randy Wittman during the season. The Wolves went to Golden State and defeated the Warriors 105-97. It was their second consecutive victory and third in four April games. Sebastian Telfair led six scorers in double figures with 21 points. Brian Cardinal and Bobby Brown had 10 points apiece. Times were good.

The first loss: The Wolves came home and on April 11, 2009, dropped a 110-97 game to Phoenix. Rodney Carney played a team-high 33 minutes, 42 seconds. Shaq had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns. We never could have known what was to come.

Close calls: The Wolves lost by two points in their very next game against Dallas. The next season -- the start of the Rambis Era -- Minnesota went 2-29 in its final 31 games but did win one of them on ... March 31. Oh so close. They lost seven April games, including the season finale to Detroit after leading by 11 going into the fourth quarter. The Wolves lost their final 15 games in 2010-11 to close out the Rambis Era. Included was an overtime loss to Phoenix in which four Wolves players scored at least 20 points. Adelman's Wolves have lost 11 in a row, 10 in April. Four of the losses were by seven points or fewer.

Fast facts: The Wolves didn't give up more than 111 points in any game Ricky Rubio played this season. Without him, opponents have topped that mark five times in April alone. ... Going back to the 2005-06 season, the Wolves are 11-53 in April. Included is the infamous Mark Madsen three-point-shooting travesty and double-OT loss. ... Even with the 11-game losing streak this year in a strike-shortened season, Minnesota has already recorded its most victories in any season since 2006-07.

What's next: There are only three games left, including Thursday night at Detroit. The best chance for a victory would seem to be against similarly depleted Golden State on Sunday at Target Center. The Warriors entered Wednesday only 2-8 this month. But one of those victories was over the Wolves. If this thing stretches to an even 30 games this year, it has to end next year -- doesn't it?

MICHAEL RAND

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