The Wolves are back at it tonight, and back at Staples Center for the second time in two nights.
This time, there's no 22-game losing streak against the opponent on the line.
Just a test whether the Wolves can come from Sunday's big 113-90 victory over the Lakers 24 hours later after asking a lot of their starters for the first three quarters.
A week ago, the Wolves won at New York while playing their starters big minutes and then came out the next night at Cleveland with dead legs on a night they trailed big and rallied only to lose when Kevin Love's winning three-pointer missed the final horn.
Well, Rick Adelman got a little prickly when I asked if he debated playing a guy like Love 33 of Sunday's first 36 minutes knowing Monday's game against a tough Clippers team awaited. He did get most of his starters out of the game for most of the fourth quarter when the Wolves pushed their big lead back up from 14 points at third quarter's end into the 20s.
“Everybody wants to look at that,” Adelman said when asked about starters’ playing time. “I wanted to win the game. I thought it was important. We’re trying to establish something. I don’t want to play people 45 minutes, but we’ve got to get ourselves to where we know what we’re doing and our bench hasn’t played real well. A lead can evaporate quickly.”
Adelman basically played a seven-man rotation Sunday, mixing reserves Dante Cunningham and J.J. Barea while he rotated his starters in and out of the game. He vowed after the game that those who didn’t play much Sunday – Derrick Williams, Alexey Shved, Robbie Hummel, etc. – will be asked to do more against the Clippers.
The Wolves didn’t have to travel Sunday night. They just went back to their Los Angeles-area hotel and came back to Staples Center the next night against a different opponent. Veteran Corey Brewer said playing time at this point in the season shouldn’t matter anyone.
“We can’t think like that,” Brewer said. “We’re young. We’re young guys with young legs. We’ve got to get it done.”