Warriors whip Wolves 105-89 to clinch playoff spot

  • Article by: Jerry Zgoda , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 10, 2013 - 8:03 AM

OAKLAND, CALIF. – The Timberwolves saw – and heard – the difference one little year can make for a downtrodden franchise at the end of Tuesday’s 105-89 loss at Golden State.

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snoozecruiseApr. 10, 1312:56 AM

Before anyone overreacts to Rubio's poor shooting of late, IMO it is inevitable due to the fact that he has been playing all-out defense for too many games, and it's finally caught up with him. Ricky was obviously thrilled to be back on the court after his injury, and when he felt 100% he has been playing with reckless defensive intensity night after night. That simply can't be sustained in the nonsensical, player-unfriendly NBA schedule of three games in four nights, etc. (which McHale and others have labeled "a grind"). That's not to say he doesn't have lots of room for improvement in terms of shooting, because he does, but playing defense as hard as he does will ruin anyone's shot. In Rubio's case, we have seen blown layups when no defensive player is within thirty feet of him. Tonight he hoisted THE worst bankshot attempt I have every seen in my forty-five years of watching the NBA, along with brick after brick after brick. That bankshot attempt communicated his fatigue loud and clear. He obviously needs a full summer to refine his shot by putting more arc on it, etc. Then he needs help from his teammates next year, lots of help, so that he can pace himself a bit and pick and choose his spots during games. He can still play first class defense, but he can't--and no one else can, eiher--play defense at playoff level intensity on a nightly basis during the regular season. I admire his heart and effort, though. He has natural court sense; now he needs to develop the sense of knowing how to play at a high level with burning himself out. In short, his passion needs to be tempered by prudence.

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oxboardApr. 10, 13 5:57 AM

Obviously Rudio was having one of those nights nothing was going right, same for Williams, in the second half. now Barea and Bundinger were haveing a good night even Shevd was, so why leave those having a bad night play and leave the ones doing well on the bench.

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wisstinks4Apr. 10, 13 7:10 AM

Whatever, I saw Rubio light it up in Milwaukee a few games back, he's fine. Eventually he will be a good shooter, he's not the issue, its the shooting of Ridnour, Brea, Williams, etc. Thats where we are weaker than a broken straw. ON a positive note, We finally have a true kick your teeth in center who can take it to the rack. Congrats PEK!

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akgfreeApr. 10, 13 7:38 AM

snoozecruise - Right on with Ricky. The big question to me is - can he coexist with another skilled guard, or do we have to recruit shooters for him to feed? It does not look like he is going to be a significant scorer, so, do the Wolves build around him or use him as a spot guard, playing behind someone who has a more fully developed all-around game? I love his energy and style of play, but I think the jury is out on whether an NBA team can win with him as a non-scoring threat.

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MuddyOasisApr. 10, 13 8:29 AM

AKG - That's a silly jury then. Jason Kidd was no scoring threat and he used passing, defense and smarts to get the Nets to the finals. You can get to finals with a non scoring PG.

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hjlazniApr. 10, 13 9:10 AM

MuddyOasis, you are right, you can win with a non scoring PG. However, the PG needs to understand he is a non scoring PG. Rubio can not shoot the ball at a NBA level and it is unlikely that he can learn to shoot this late in his career, which likely started at 6 years old. At this time, he is a little out of balance in deciding shoot/pass.

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MuddyOasisApr. 10, 13 9:23 AM

hjlaz - That's half the battle though, Rubio figuring out how to score in the NBA is a fine experiment in a season like this one. Last year he didn't shoot enough, this year he is shooting plenty and hopefully next year he has the balance of the two. Hopefully Love will be all healthy and be able to take that scoring pressure off Rubio a little bit too. Rubio has had to force things this year sometimes. And I'll use Kidd again...he couldn't shoot very well early in his career and he has become a decent to solid spot up shooter for the Mavs and Knicks later in his career.

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hjlazniApr. 10, 13 9:24 AM

The Wolves major problem is not the off guard but the fact that their center is really what was called a "big forward". You see Pek scoring points and receiving honors as a result but he is not a true center on defense and this is where the Wolves lose, against taller upfront players. We all want to Johnson play after we see him swatting shots away while he is on the floor. Shved can only play PG, yet Adelman has Schved playing the wing with Barea at PG despite the fact Barea is the Wolves best wing player on offense. Buddinger is a weak link on defense, especially on a team that does not play a true center and will probably be replaced by the Wolves draft choice. If Adelman decides to keep Pek instead of signing a center he likes, then the Wolves theory will be to outscore the other team.

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zatawayApr. 10, 1310:27 AM

Good for the Warriors. Every time we face them though, I become sick thinking about how we're STILL in search of a 2 guard and Steph Curry was there for the taking. Man, Rubio and Curry would have been a special tandem!

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MuddyOasisApr. 10, 1311:55 AM

Rubio and Curry would just be an upgraded offensive version of Ridnour and Rubio with Curry being the obvious upgrade on offense. However, we'd become worse defensively. Much worse. If you think that Ridnour gets pushed around by bigger guards, then Curry aka the worst defensive PG in the league, would make your skin crawl. I'd be better to get a bigger guard in that starting lineup. Another thing to consider is that there would be no way to keep Love, Rubio, Pek and Curry based on what they'd earn...there would be maybe a one or two year window with that squad before someone had to be traded based on the cap. And if people think Love is injury proned then Curry is far riskier with those ankles.

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