Timberwolves turmoil: After latest loss Love torches Barea, Cunningham for pouting on bench

  • Article by: JON KRAWCZYNSKI , Associated Press
  • Updated: January 9, 2014 - 6:49 AM

MINNEAPOLIS — Kevin Love is usually one of the last Minnesota Timberwolves to be interviewed after a game, preferring first to collect his thoughts as he goes through a treatment regimen that includes an extended dip in an icy cold tub that helps his body recover from the beating it takes on a nightly basis.

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oxboardJan. 9, 14 6:21 AM

Is Love another Kevin Garnett? Garnett stayed with a team for years with no hope of a playoff berth or winning season, Love should take his game to another team.

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simmys11Jan. 9, 14 6:56 AM

Pathetic, yet predictable loss and the blame is squarely on Rubio. Two turnovers in the last three possessions! (The only reason it wasn't 3 for 3 was because he only inbounded the ball on the Wolves last chance.) Dragic abused him, Rubio looked helpless trying to stop him. Rubio has no scoring ability whatsoever. All the Rubio defenders need to actually watch the games rather than look at his assist and steal numbers. Whenever he is pressured on either end (i.e. has to stop a drive or has a defended anywhere closer than 3 ft to him) he will panic and fail. We should've kept Lawson. Or Burke. The Wolves "saving" the max contract for Rubio is laughable. Did any reporters call him out for his horrible play?

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kmdoleJan. 9, 14 7:07 AM

Burke? You meant Trey Burke, wasn't he named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month? Just another great blunder on draft choice day by the leadership of this team, it matters not who is at the helm. Didn't they must not have been paying attention during the NCAA tournament last year.

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jorge016Jan. 9, 14 7:57 AM

simmys11 hit the nail on the head. Rubio's pretty youtube passes are fun..but when the games on the line, this guy's game disappears. Smart play, toughness, and solid play from your point guard in the last 2 minutes win NBA games. We don't get that from Ricky..maybe someday, but not yet.

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andy13tJan. 9, 14 8:11 AM

This team doesn't have a clutch bone in their collective body. As stated, Rubio crumbles. Pek has had some chances in late game situation and he gets nervous and rushes himself into a bad shot. And then there's Love, who wants so desperately to be a Superstar and get all of the touches and all of the calls, but turns into a choke artist in the waning moments...... They even turned to Kevin Martin last night who couldn't get a decent look by himself either. This team is not a playoff team- besides if you rely on blowouts to get your wins during the regular season, you'll never win a single game in the playoffs, where blowouts rarely happen.

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chrismau1Jan. 9, 14 8:14 AM

Love did a lot of walking on the court in the first half - not much hustle there. We often give up easy baskets while Love is still complaining about calls. The point Phoenix scored on his technical foul cost us the game. Love needs to look in the mirror instead of at the refs or the bench.

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mnnice1984Jan. 9, 14 8:15 AM

I was at the game last night. The comment that the wolves are anything but a team is spot on. I really can't think of many moments last night where the team looked like it was in it to win it together. Love played horribly last night, despite getting a double double. If he wants to set an example and call out teammates, he needs to be an example of what the wolves need to do in crunch time. He's not a leader, he's incredibly talented, but he's not a leader. After last season basically being no where to be seen, he needs to shut his mouth and win respect in the locker room. Officiating was pretty ridiculous as well. Lots of hard fouls and contact that went uncalled that could have put the game into our hands; however, we'd have to be able to make a free throw to capitalize on that.

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CoynerJan. 9, 14 8:47 AM

I've seen signs of this division building for weeks now. Kevin Love is an elite talent. But when Love missed three FTs last week, here's what a leader would say: "Sorry guys, this one's on me. I'm paid to make the big shots and I just missed 'em." At that point, his teammates should be the ones standing up and saying, "Don't pin this loss on Kevin. He's carried us all year." Instead, the opposite occurred. When he couldn't whine about the officiating or the bench, Love blamed fatigue. "I'd put me on the line every time. People will say what they want to say." JJ Barea seems perturbed that Love should call out the bench. I can't blame Barea for feeling he should get more playing time when he sees Rubio repeatedly turn the ball over at crunch time and get nothing done offensively. But then, who's more loose with the basketball than Barea? Kevin Martin appears to be tight with Love. But quite honestly, Martin seems to get pretty soft when it really matters. I definitely think there's resentment toward Rubio for getting the five-year deal. And as much as I admire his playmaking ability and unselfishness, unfortunately Rubio is at the heart of this team's troubles. When defenders don't respect his offense, Love and Pek get doubled, so they don't make shots. But here's the real tragedy of all this. Consider that if this team had won all of these close games, they'd be 27-8. Or if they'd won even half, they would be 22-13. Instead they're 17-18, in total disarray and headed for nowheresville in the draft again.

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goldenjet2Jan. 9, 14 9:00 AM

Phoenix showed the power of a TEAM. It also showed the strength of a team which buys into its coach and works hard for him. Adelman has nothing but questions and stock cliches after these brutal losses. The officials are also punishing this team and consistently blowing him off. I saw him out-coached by a better leader last night. And where is Flip Saunders as this meltdown has been occurring?

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robertleokellyJan. 9, 14 9:01 AM

Like the earlier comment about Rubio I totally agree. I have only watched a few games this year because I now live in California but whoever is teaching Rubio how to play defense should be fired. He is maybe the worst defensive guard I have ever seen. His man is constantly getting past him and then he plays soft and goes "under" very pick leaving his man a wide open three. Then at the end of the game he drives the lane and gets up in the air with no place to throw the ball. You teach guards to stay on their feet in pee wee basketball. And nobody on the team , coach or player, seems to be holding him responsible.

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