Reusse: Like Tubby, frustration appears to have defeated Wolves' Adelman

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 20, 2014 - 11:39 AM
hide

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman

Photo: Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Tubby Smith and Rick Adelman brought a much-needed attribute to a pair of basketball operations when they arrived as coaches in Minneapolis: credibility.

The local hoops crowd is going to be seeing the same result at the end of their tenures: disappointment.

Tubby inherited a putrid Gophers program in April 2007, created a spark, then ran into frustrations and was defeated by them. The same track appears to have occurred with Adelman and the Timberwolves, and in half the time.

Smith lasted six seasons and had his final team rated as high as No. 8 in the country, before his Gophers faded into the Big Ten’s second division. Tubby was fired last March after his lone NCAA victory with the Gophers was followed by a loss to Florida.

Adelman came into a miserable circumstance in September 2011, with the NBA lockout still in force. The Timberwolves had not exceeded 33 victories since 2005 and were 32-132 in the previous two seasons with Kurt Rambis on the bench.

Rookie Ricky Rubio brought some life to the situation when the season started in December 2011. Adelman’s club was 21-19 and playing the L.A. Lakers in front of an announced home crowd of 20,164 on March 9. Rubio blew out his left knee in the closing moments of a 105-102 loss.

Neither Rubio, nor the team, nor the head coach, has been the same since that night.

The Wolves gave up and finished 5-21 (counting the Lakers loss) down the stretch. In 2012-13, they had star Kevin Love for only 18 games and finished 31-51. Adelman missed a hunk of that return to futility because of the health problems of his wife, Mary Kay.

The Wolves came out of the All-Star break with a 104-91 home victory over Indiana on Wednesday night. This put them at 26-28 and still with zero chance to pass two teams in the West over the final third of the schedule and reach the playoffs.

Adelman has a year remaining on the four-year contract that lured him to Minnesota. The guess here is that Adelman is going to walk, allowing the Wolves to avoid using the out the team could exercise in his contract after this season.

There were major obstacles for Adelman in his first two years here: the lockout that eliminated training camp and the Rubio injury in 2011-12; the injury to Love and others that destroyed last season, and the disjointed maneuvering from David Kahn, the previous president of basketball operations.

The excuses have been fewer for Adelman this season. His team has suffered more than a handful of horrific losses to inferior teams. On the sideline, you don’t sense the coaching genius that was visible early in his time here; rather, you see a sad-eyed gentleman regularly stretching his arms to complain about a no-call from the officials.

Adelman has looked more beaten to me than Tubby ever did last winter, even during the Gophers’ annual mid-Big Ten slide.

What hurts more than another non-playoff season is some of the damage done to the Wolves in their attempt to mollify Adelman by unloading players that he didn’t want.

Wesley Johnson was the fourth overall pick and did not have the appearance of a lost cause in 2010-11. He did make 103 threes and shoot 35.6 percent from there.

Johnson started the entire schedule for Adelman in 2011-12 and was written off as a failure. OK … but to get rid of Johnson, the Wolves basically gave Phoenix a first-round draft choice for accepting him.

Derrick Williams was the No. 2 overall selection in the 2011 draft. Adelman decided he didn’t fit the system, barely tolerated him for two seasons and then convinced new basketball boss Flip Saunders to trade Williams to Sacramento for a nonentity, Luc Mbah a Moute, a month into this season.

You might be able to accept the Wolves’ giving away the Nos. 2 and 4 overall choices because Adelman had no use for them. It’s harder to accept that they still owe Phoenix as part of these twin fiascos.

Adelman remains a Ph.D. when it comes to basketball knowledge. What’s not as clear is the verve required to get the best from a collection that doesn’t fit his vision of an NBA team.

Frustration has won, it appears, as it did on the other side of Minneapolis with Tubby Smith.

 

Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on AM-1500. preusse@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 24 FINAL
Washington 27
San Diego 38 FINAL
San Francisco 35
Minnesota 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 2:30 PM
Toronto
Memphis 3:30 PM
Cleveland
Boston 5:00 PM
Miami
Detroit 5:00 PM
Brooklyn
LA Lakers 5:00 PM
Sacramento
Philadelphia 5:00 PM
Orlando
Phoenix 5:00 PM
Washington
Indiana 6:00 PM
Minnesota
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Colorado 5:00 PM
Detroit
Dallas 5:00 PM
Edmonton
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Boston
Carolina 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Chicago
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Winnipeg
Harvard 11:00 AM
Virginia
Maine 12:00 PM
Army
Ferris State 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
San Francisco 12:00 PM
Cleveland State
Oregon State 12:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Coastal Carolina 12:30 PM
Central Arkansas
Holy Cross 1:00 PM
Canisius
Southern Miss 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Western Carolina 1:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
Creighton 1:00 PM
North Texas
Maryland 1:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Cornell 1:00 PM
Radford
Vermont 1:00 PM
Saint Louis
Loyola-Maryland 1:00 PM
Stony Brook
Reinhardt 1:00 PM
Winthrop
Ark-Little Rock 1:00 PM
Green Bay
TX-Pan American 1:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Alabama State 1:05 PM
Evansville
FIU 1:30 PM
Hartford
Goshen 1:35 PM
Valparaiso
Bryant 2:00 PM
Denver
Austin Peay 2:00 PM
Lipscomb
Tennessee St 2:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
South Dakota 2:00 PM
Montana
ULM 2:00 PM
Samford
Coker 2:30 PM
South Carolina
USC 3:00 PM
Boston College
Northern Ariz 3:00 PM
Hampton
SD Christian 3:00 PM
San Diego
UC Irvine 3:30 PM
Bradley
Troy 3:30 PM
Nicholls
Seton Hall 5:00 PM
Georgia
Appalachian St 5:30 PM
Alabama
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Kent State
San Jose St 6:00 PM
Washington St
Alcorn State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Sacramento St 9:00 PM
Seattle
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Cal-Irvine 11:00 AM
Denver
St Marys-CA 11:00 AM
George Washington
TX-San Antonio 11:00 AM
Nicholls
Portland State 11:00 AM
Columbia
Tenn Tech 11:00 AM
Morgan State
SMU 11:00 AM
Auburn
Quinnipiac 11:00 AM
Hartford
Hofstra 11:00 AM
Boston College
Eastern Washington 11:00 AM
Georgia Southern
Rhode Island 12:00 PM
Bryant
Liberty 12:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
Fairleigh Dickinson 12:00 PM
Brown
Buffalo 12:00 PM
Long Island
Bucknell 12:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Stony Brook 12:00 PM
Wagner
FIU 12:00 PM
Wofford
Duquesne 12:00 PM
Providence
Maine 12:00 PM
William & Mary
Alabama State 12:00 PM
Samford
TX-Pan American 12:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
South Dakota St 12:00 PM
Marist
Saint Josephs 12:00 PM
(5) Notre Dame
Radford 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(3) Texas 12:30 PM
(4) Texas A&M
South Florida 1:00 PM
Penn State
Sam Houston St 1:00 PM
TCU
Evansville 1:00 PM
IUPUI
(14) Maryland 1:00 PM
Coppin State
Mercer 1:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
NC A&T 1:00 PM
Chattanooga
Princeton 1:00 PM
Monmouth
Eastern Illinois 1:00 PM
Lehigh
Rider 1:00 PM
Binghamton
SC State 1:00 PM
Clemson
Fairfield 1:00 PM
Iowa State
Richmond 1:00 PM
Eastern Kentucky
Cleveland State 1:00 PM
Morehead St
Kent State 1:00 PM
Colgate
South Alabama 1:00 PM
UAB
Saint Peters 1:00 PM
Navy
Youngstown St 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
NJIT 1:00 PM
Lafayette
Davidson 1:00 PM
Charlotte
Indiana State 1:30 PM
St Johns
Southern U 1:30 PM
Florida
Wright State 1:30 PM
Purdue
(19) Oklahoma St 2:00 PM
USC
Houston 2:00 PM
Texas Tech
Ark-Little Rock 2:00 PM
Tulsa
Dayton 2:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Northern Ariz 2:00 PM
New Mexico
UNC-Asheville 2:00 PM
USC Upstate
North Dakota 2:00 PM
South Dakota
Western Ill 2:00 PM
Marquette
Elon 2:00 PM
(6) North Carolina
Ball State 2:00 PM
Western Ky
(8) Kentucky 2:00 PM
(13) Duke
New Orleans 2:00 PM
Alabama
Chicago State 2:00 PM
Milwaukee
Bowling Green 2:00 PM
Bradley
Ill-Springfield 2:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Northern Ill 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa
(23) Iowa 2:05 PM
Drake
Central Michigan 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Western Carolina 2:30 PM
North Florida
Wyoming 3:00 PM
Colorado
Portland 3:00 PM
Boise State
Cal Poly 3:00 PM
Colorado State
No Dakota State 3:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Albany 3:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Oklahoma 3:00 PM
Arkansas
Idaho State 3:00 PM
Seattle
(18) Michigan State 3:00 PM
(19) Syracuse
Northwestern 3:30 PM
Arizona State
TX-Arlington 3:30 PM
North Texas
Fresno State 4:00 PM
Oregon
St Francis-PA 4:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
UNLV 4:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
UCLA 4:00 PM
(2) Connecticut
(10) Louisville 4:00 PM
(24) California
Howard 5:00 PM
Virginia
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
(21) Miss State
Illinois-Chicago 8:30 PM
Old Dominion
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: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close