Wolves notes: Western teams have harder climb to playoffs

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 7, 2014 - 9:31 PM
hide

The Wolves' Kevin Martin was fouled as he drove to the basket for a first-half layup against Detroit.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Detroit Pistons arrived at Target Center on Friday evening seven games below .500 after losing eight of their past 10 games, but they still were only three games behind Atlanta in the chase for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.

“They’re in better position than we are,” Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said.

Two nights before that, New York came to town with a 21-40 record, and yet the Knicks were about as far from a playoff spot in the East as the 30-30 Wolves trail eighth-place Dallas in the West.

“I didn’t realize it,” Adelman said, “but the Knicks are in better position that we are, too.”

Such is life in the Western Conference, where the Wolves are .500 and watching a distant playoff spot slip away.

If the season had ended Friday, both Charlotte and Atlanta would make the playoffs in the East with winning records. Memphis, with a 34-26 record, wouldn’t in the West. Neither, of course, would the Wolves.

“I just think that’s the way it is,” Adelman said of the disparity between the two conferences. “Nothing much you can do about it.”

Then Adelman suggested the league needs to be “aggressive” in looking at way to “tweak” the playoff procedures to make them more equitable, like the NBA did recently by changing back from the 2-3-2 playoff format instituted long ago to ease travel when Boston and Los Angeles Lakers seemingly played in the Finals every year.

Message received

Before Friday’s game, Adelman called for veteran guard Kevin Martin to be more aggressive looking for his shot to start games after he went 3-for-10 Wednesday and the Wolves were overpowered by New York from the start.

So Martin shot six times in Friday’s first quarter, made four and scored 11 points in leading the Wolves to a 20-point lead before first quarter’s end. In doing so, he proved Adelman prophetic.

“He can’t hold the ball or massage it,” Adelman said. “He has to take his shots. When we do that, we’re just a much better team.

‘‘We didn’t do that against the Knicks and it was 9-0 before you turn around. If we sit back and wait to get in the game, we’re going to be in trouble. We’ve got to get at these guys, play to our strengths and don’t let them get into the game.”

He’s so Melo

Two nights after Carmelo Anthony came to Target Center and put up 33 points, another combo kind of forward — Detroit’s Josh Smith — came to town.

That’s where the similarities end, if you ask Wolves forward Corey Brewer.

“Different story,” Brewer said before Anthony scored 22 points in the first half alone Friday against Utah. “You can’t compare anybody in the NBA to Melo. Melo takes you inside and he doesn’t miss. When he shoots the mid-range, it’s automatically going in.”

Etc.

•  The Wolves entered the game leading the NBA in free throws made per game (21.7) and third in free throws attempted (27.9).

Opponents have attempted more free throws than the Wolves in just six games this season.

• Veteran center Ronny Turiaf missed his seventh consecutive game because of a bruised knee suffered Feb. 19 against Indiana. Adelman said he will re-evaluated next week.

• Turiaf and rookie Robbie Hummel again were the Wolves’ two inactive players for Friday’s games.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota - T. May 6:05 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
NY Yankees - C. Capuano 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Buehrle
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. deGrom
Boston - A. Ranaudo 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Miami - T. Koehler 6:35 PM
Atlanta - E. Santana
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll
Texas - S. Baker 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Colorado - C. Bergman 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
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: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close