With the Twins struggling out of the gate and the Vikings all but threatening to unleash a fleet of U-Hauls on the Metrodome, it’s been easy to overlook the other pilfering remnants of this state’s foundering sports landscape. For the Timberwolves, that hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing.
The Wolves are limping toward the finish line. Heck, “limping” might be a generous description. What they’re doing is more akin to tumbling, stumbling or bumbling. In any right, the Wolves’ season is down to a single game, and while there were some colossal strides made — in March the team was hovering around .500 while jockeying for playoff position — this thing’s not ending well.
Following Sunday night’s come-from-ahead loss to Golden State in which Rick Adelman’s club blew a 21-point lead, J.J. Barea openly questioned his teammates’ focus and desire. From the Associated Press:
“We’ve got problems here,” said Barea. “We’ve got a lot of guys that don’t care. … We’re just going to keep getting Ls until we get players here that care, that care about winning, care about the team and care about the fans.”
Michael Beasley — who’s been the subject of that kind of criticism in the past — seemingly took umbrage with Barea’s harsh words.
“Until you point those guys out one by one, it doesn’t really matter,” Beasley said. “That was a collective loss.”
Losing has a way of putting everyone on edge. Thus, this appears to be a typical case of frustration boiling over. Still, it doesn’t bode well for a young team trying to shake years of losing and irrelevance. And if that ugly little episode wasn’t enough, Adelman seemed to express concern over rookie Derrick Williams’ effort in a Minneapolis Star Tribune story.
“He has really struggled with his shot. He has really struggled with energy on the court,” Adelman told the Star Tribune. “The inconsistency has really been something that has bothered us all year long with a lot of guys. He’s got to figure out how to get himself going in the game, and a lot of times that’s just effort, going to the boards, not worrying about your shot, being aggressive. It’s hard to put your finger on why he has tailed off.”
Rookies struggling is nothing new, of course, but the part of that quote that bothered us was: “He has really struggled with energy on the court.”
That’s an issue, especially for a young pup trying to play his way into the lineup.
As the Wolves wrap up this shortened season and look ahead to the fall, we hope some of these issues get ironed out. If that happens, there’s no reason the momentum the team had going through mid-March can’t carry over to 2012-13.