Wolves notes: Western teams have harder climb to playoffs

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 7, 2014 - 9:31 PM
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The Wolves' Kevin Martin was fouled as he drove to the basket for a first-half layup against Detroit.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

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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.

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Toronto 1 Bottom 7th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Washington 2 Top 9th Inning
Miami 0
NY Mets 6 Bottom 6th Inning
Atlanta 2
Boston 3 Bottom 6th Inning
Baltimore 1
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago WSox 9 Top 6th Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Cleveland 2 Top 5th Inning
Minnesota 1
Detroit 1 Top 4th Inning
Kansas City 2
Seattle 1 Top 5th Inning
Houston 1
Los Angeles 4 Bottom 3rd Inning
Chicago Cubs 1
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LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 3:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong 3:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Arizona - W. Miley 3:10 PM
Colorado - C. Bergman
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St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 20 4th Qtr 10:06
Buffalo 10
Dallas 27 4th Qtr 6:13
St. Louis 24
Washington 27 3rd Qtr 2:04
Philadelphia 27
Houston 10 4th Qtr 9:45
NY Giants 20
Minnesota 9 4th Qtr 9:39
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 0 4th Qtr 9:12
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 17 4th Qtr 8:10
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 4th Qtr 9:00
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 30 4th Qtr 12:13
Jacksonville 3
Oakland 9 4th Qtr 7:57
New England 13
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
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Washington
Columbus 4 3rd Prd 12:13
Carolina 2
Buffalo 4:00 PM
Washington
St. Louis 5:30 PM
Columbus
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Calgary
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 1st Half 25:00
Toronto FC 0
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 10:33
Montreal 25
Ottawa 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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