Tag:Kurt Rambis
Posted on: January 12, 2011 10:16 am
 

The Game Changer: Big margins of all around

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  

THE BIG ONE: NEW YORK FIGURING OUT THE ROAD

They might not have beat someone by 55, but the Knicks got themselves a darn good road win in Portland Tuesday night, taking down the wounded Blazers 100-86.

Amar'e Stoudemire got the best of LaMarcus Aldridge, outscoring his counterpart 23-18. Ronny Turiaf added a season-high 19, Wilson Chandler 17 and Raymond Felton 17.

But the story was really just how rough it is for the Blazers right now without Brandon Roy. Wesley Matthews is having a nice season and Nicolas Batum is good some nights, but just 86 points against the Knicks? It was obvious that Portland was missing someone that could pile up points in the second half. The Blazers tried to go to Aldridge, but the Knicks zeroed in there. Rudy Fernandez was there for some kick-outs, scoring 18, but it was all long jumpers for Portland. There was no isolation option. No players that could take over. It was kind of painful to watch such a promising team lose with so much talent in suits.

However, the Knicks picked up another nice road win. New York is now 12-8 on the road this season, which surpasses their road win total from all of last year. The Knicks are roped into the Carmelo Anthony stuff, but what's lost is how well their current small forward is playing. Chandler had 17 big points and came up large for the Knicks late in the game as well.

The Knicks have one of the best home court advantages in the league, but now they're figuring out the road. One of the many differences in this New York team from year's past.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Kevin Love dropped his sixth 20-20 game of the season with 20 points and 20 rebounds.

Aaron Afflalo had a career-high 31 on 11-14 shooting.

Nick Young scored a career-high 43 and went 4-4 from 3 in the third quarter.

Alonzo Gee had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Cavs. Doesn't sound impressive? Well his 12 points were 21 percent of his team's total output.

DENVER ERUPTS ON PHOENIX

Maybe the distractions were getting to them recently, but Tuesday the Nuggets put it all behind them as they beat up on the Suns 132-98.

Denver scored a combined 82 points in the second and third quarters as the Suns defense basically was them letting the Nuggets shoot wide open shots as they crossed their fingers hoping the shots didn't drop. Problem was, they did.

The Nuggets shot 56 percent from the field and made 37 free throws. Carmelo had 28 points, Aaron Afflalo a career-high 31 on 11-14 shooting and Ty Lawson and J.R. Smith combined for 31 on a combined 9-11 from the field.

Carmelo hasn't left Denver yet. And while he's there, we're still seeing glimpses of just how good of an offensive force the Nuggets can be. Of course it helps to be playing the Suns, but still, 82 points in two quarters is pretty impressive against anyone.

WASHINGTON TRIES TO LET SACTO WIN

It was like a lesson on how to blow a game. The Wizards led by eight with under a minute left. Led by six with 20 seconds left. Led by four with 10 seconds left. But not only did they turn the ball over, the Wizards took bad shots, missed free throws and basically, played all-around stupid basketball. It was kind of impressive, in a disaster film kind of way.

But in the end, Washington got it done behind Nick Young's 43 points. The Kings, being absolutely horrible, couldn't take advantage of about 25 opportunities to seize the victory and the Wizards took home a 136-133 overtime win. The was between two teams a combined 18-53 and it certainly showed.

L.A. BEATS CLEVELAND BY LIKE A MILLION

What's the box score look like for the loser after a 112-57 game?

The leading scorer for the Cavs was Alonzo Gee with 12. The starting five combined for 23 points, led by Manny Harris's eight. Mo Williams went 1-9, J.J. Hickson 1-8, Antwan Jamison 3-10 and Harris 2-8. The team shot 29.9 percent from the field. They turned it over 19 times.

Basically, everyone sucked.

And then LeBron tweeted something. Pretty rough night for the Cavs.

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Kenyon Martin and Goran Dragic got into a weird little scuffle during the third quarter of Denver's win over Phoenix. For some reason, Martin grabbed Dragic, hugged him and wouldn't let him go. Dragic fought back like a little child trying to escape the grasp of his mother.


PARTING THOUGHT

During the Timberwolves-Spurs game, things got a little technical late in the game. With the Spurs up double-digits, the Wolves felt like they were getting the short end of the whistle. So they complained.

First, Corey Brewer got T'd. Then Darko Milicic got a tech from the same call. Then Kurt Rambis picked up two because of the same call. There's four T's. Just 10 seconds later, Kevin Love made a pretty demonstrative gesture toward the official and picked up a technical. Five T's in just 10 seconds, all handed out by Ken Mauer.

That's got to be some kind of record. Manu Ginobili on all the technical fouls: "It was awkward."
Posted on: November 19, 2010 9:02 am
 

Kevin Love and the heckler's odyssey

Posted by Royce Young

Kevin Love is blogging for GQ and he had something mildly interesting to write about this time around. It wasn't about trying to fit in with the team or griping about Kurt Rambis or how it was kind of weird he went on that episode of Sport Science and chucked like 500 halfcourt shots. He wrote about something impressive he did recently.

But while talking about the historic game, Love recounted an interesting moment that happened early on in the game.

The funniest thing about that night: early on I was getting heckled by a Minnesota fan. The guy was screaming at me: "Run back on defense! If this is how you're gonna play, we're gonna trade you!" The whole first half I kept hearing him, and that kind of enraged me inside a little bit, so I came out and had that big second half. After the game, I kept looking his way and shaking my head, flexing at him, like, "What do you say now?"

But it gets even funnier. After I left the arena, I went out to grab a drink with a couple of my buddies at this place called the Loon Café—and who's the first person I see when I walk into the bar? The same guy. The heckler. And I'm just like, "No. Way." So he comes up to me and says, "Listen, Mr. Love, I'd just like to apologize." (This is a grown man, by the way.) And I just kept saying, "You're the guy! You're the guy! You were heckling me the whole way! Did you see me at the end of the game?" He goes, "Yes. And I just wanna take back everything I said. We really believe in you. Do you mind taking a picture with us and signing a few autographs?" So I'm thinking, first of all, you wanted to trade me. You wanted me out of Minnesota. And now you want an autograph and a picture? But the guy was actually really friendly, and his friends were great. So we had fun with it. But it was just funny how quickly perceptions can change. I guess he decided to give me another chance after that second half.

Wait, are we completely sure the heckler wasn't actually Kurt Rambis?

But I'd imagine something like 31 points and 31 rebounds could shut even the dumbest, most obnoxious fan up. But seriously, things must be rough in Minnesota if the hometown fans are heckling their own guys.
Posted on: November 12, 2010 10:33 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 11:44 pm
 

Kevin Love goes berserk with 31-31 in Wolves win

Wolves forward notches insane numbers, of 31 points and 31 rebounds in win over Knicks
Posted by Matt Moore

Kevin Love notched 31 points and 31 rebounds tonight in the greatest performance across the two categories in 28 years. The last player to notch a 30-30? Moses Malone in 1982. Absolutely unbelievable. And on top of it all, the Wolves beat the Knicks for their second consecutive win 112-101.

Love actually hit 30 rebounds first is the insane part. He nailed a three-pointer with 1:17 remaining to hit the 31 point mark, and naturally received a standing ovation from the crowd. 31 rebounds is a team record for Minnesota.

Love gets a ton of his own offensive rebounds which some say pad his stats, but in reality, don't you want your player to pursue his own miss? Meanwhile, a performance of this magnitude is simply overwhelming. That it drowns out Michael Beasley's 35 points is something in and of itself. As Walt Frazier said, Love was "rebounding and astounding."

It may be time for Kevin Love to start getting these minutes regularly that he's been denied. What's stunning is the team still likely still not big on him due to their own steadfast scouting of him as a poor defender with attitude problems, which no one else can figure out.

For one night at least, Kevin Love is a legend. A simply amazing performance for one of the league's young stars.

For comparison, here's a list of players who didn't have 31 rebounds total coming into tonight's games, this entire season.

Yao Ming (5 games)
Shaquille O'Neal (4 games)
DeAndre Jordan (9 games)
Carl Landry (7 games)
Spencer Hawes (8 game)
Timofey Mozgov (8 games)
Hasheem Thabeet (8 games)
Hamed Haddadi (8 games)
DeSagana Diop (8 games)
Ronny Turiaf (7 games)
Jermaine O'Neal (7 games)

And hey, Love was only 24 rebounds short of the record of 55 set by Wilt Chamberlain!
...

Yeah, Wilt was insane. But Love's pretty good, too.

Posted on: November 4, 2010 4:29 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:29 pm
 

Wolves PG Jonny Flynn expected back in 3 weeks

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Jonny Flynn is reportedly three weeks away from returning to the court after summer hip surgery.jonny-flynn Posted by Ben Golliver On Oct. 26th, we noted a report that stated Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Jonny Flynn was 4-6 weeks away from returning to the court after a summery surgery on his hip. That timeline seems to be progressing on schedule, as Hoopsworld.com reports today that Flynn is three weeks out from a return.
Jonny Flynn is making progress after undergoing surgery for a torn labral in his left hip. The point guard is participating in full-contact practices and the team is shooting for him to return in three weeks, according to sources. 
Flynn's surgery required extensive rehab and he's been gradually increasing his physical activity in recent weeks. The second-year player is fortunate he needed just one surgery because occasionally his ailment affects both hips and requires two separate surgeries and rehabilitation periods, similar to what Milwaukee Bucks' rookie Darington Hobson is currently going through.
In Flynn's absence, the Timberwolves have been just horrible. Wolves forward Michael Beasley called his team "the worst in the NBA," forward Kevin Love has been mixing it up with coach Kurt Rambis, and wing Martell Webster went under the knife for a minor back surgery. The Timberwolves are currently in last place in the Northwest Division with a record of 1-4. They got absolutely annihilated by the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic on Tuesday and Wednesday, losing the two games by a combined 74 points. They are set to face the undefeated (5-0) Atlanta Hawks on Friday. While Flynn isn't likely to turn Minnesota's season around single-handedly, the Timberwolves need all the help they can get.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 10:26 am
 

Shootaround 11.3.10: Blogging Love

Posted by Royce Young
  • Kevin Love is blogging for GQ: "Anyway, the whole thing definitely got blown out of proportion, and that's probably because of what happened last season between me and Coach. If you don't know, he and I butted heads a few times. I was coming off the bench a lot, and we weren't on the same page about my playing time. I thought that I was being very productive and efficient when I was on the floor, doing great in practice, working my butt off, and that I had earned more time than I was getting. But we didn't see eye-to-eye about that. Still, we sorted all that out during the offseason. And the morning after the Kings game, we talked about it again, about how we're not going to go down that same path this season. We told each other that everything was cool, and we laughed off the way people reacted to the Kings game."
  • Kevin Love Watch: 20 points, six rebounds in 26 minutes last night against Miami. There's a good reason for the lack of minutes though. The Wolves were killed by the Heat 129-97.
  • Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune: "LeBron James and Wolves forward Anthony Tolliver met on the court for the first time since he spoofed James' 'The Decision' television program with his own Youtube video. When asked if the subject was brought up Tuesday night, Tolliver said, 'Nah, no. Just said, 'What's up,' and kept moving.'"
  • Andrew Sharp of SB Nation breaking down recent NBA commercials: "Sorry, but any commercial that pairs Jim Jones with Dr. J and the White Stripes earns the top spot in the Commercial Power Rankings. We don't have many rules, but that's one of them. And God Shammgod makes a cameo! And Kenny Anderson! And there's a shot of an empty barber shop, just because... Why the barber shop? If you have to ask the question, Jim Jones says you're not real enough to know the answer."
  • Just as quickly as people reacted to Miami's first loss against the Celtics, some are doing the same with their recent dominance. But dang, they've looked really, really good.
  • Israel Gutierrez of The Miami Herald: "As if his coming back to AmericanAirlines Arena to be reminded what he's not a part of wasn't bad enough, Michael Beasley's night was made infinitely worse when he landed hard on his back and hip. He tried to walk off the injury but it quickly became obvious that his left leg wasn't responding. He was assisted off the floor, dragging his leg behind him, wincing in pain, and he never came back out to the floor. It seems the kid just can't win when it comes to Miami. He was a disappointment before he ever got here because he wasn't the No. 1 pick. He wasn't Derrick Rose."
  • Mike Conley wants to justify his extension: "I forget the past very quickly. I'm all about what I'm doing right now," Conley told The Commercial-Appeal . "This year is different for me. I'm a different player. This year is going to be a big year for me and the Memphis Grizzlies. Now, I know that they believe in me. They trust me. I believe I belong and they believe that too."
Posted on: November 1, 2010 10:24 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:19 pm
 

Michael Beasley comes back to Earth

After six weeks playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, forward Michael Beasley is singing a different tune. Posted by Ben Gollivermichael-beasley Don't get it twisted: no one will mistake Michael Beasley for a bastion of reliability.  But, back in September, when the new Minnesota Timberwolves forward, brought over in a trade with the Miami Heat, was just starting to get acclimated in his new city and new team, Beasley's optimism was at an all-time high.  In an interview with Timberwolves.com writer Jonah Ballow, Beasley was asked if his former team, now loaded with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, was the team to beat in the NBA.
"Honestly, and I know a lot of people are not going to like that fact that I'm going to say this but I think we are the team to beat. You know, that's just me and my ego speaking. I think the Lakers are the defending champs two years in a row, I think the Lakers still hold that title. It's nice to see somebody try to fight back but as of now, the Lakers are still the team to beat." 
That's right, Beasley said the Timberwolves -- a team that was coming off a 15-win season last year, a team that hasn't broken .500 since 2004-2005 -- were the "team to beat." A team whose president, David Kahn, thinks useless center Darko Milicic is "manna from heaven" and who was fined for telling a radio station that Beasley had a problem with marijuana in Miami, but it was behind him now. The team whose coach, Kurt Rambis, runs the triangle offense without most of the necessary pieces to make it work. It goes without saying that Beasley's boldly optimistic prediction elicited plenty of laughter and wisecracks of the "Let's see what he says in December" variety.  Well, Beasley didn't even make it all the way through October.  Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press reports that Rambis is already questioning his team's professionalism, just three games into the season.  Richardson notes that "the word 'Professional' was written in large letters on a chalkboard inside the Timberwolves' locker room Saturday night" after a 20-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. As for Beasley, who enjoyed a fair bit of winning at Kansas State and in Miami, the transition to the basement sounds a bit rocky. 
"I feel like everything we've been working on since training camp went out the window tonight," Beasley said. "As of right now, we're the worst team in the NBA."
Beasley was so disturbed with the results that he sat in front of his locker stall staring at the floor with his uniform on. He was the last player still in uniform, but he had a reason. Beasley was preparing to go back onto the court to do some extra shooting.
In case you are keeping score at home, it took just six weeks for Beasley's assessment of the Timberwolves to plummet from "team to beat" to "worst team in the NBA."  That's got to be some kind of record.
Posted on: October 29, 2010 11:08 am
Edited on: October 29, 2010 11:23 am
 

Kevin Love says he's good with Kurt Rambis

Posted by Royce Young

After the Kings game Wednesday night, Kevin Love didn't talk to reporters. Since he didn't say anything, we're left to speculate that he was miffed over not playing the last eight minutes in a tight game. Hence the not talking.

But Thursday, he talked and addressed the perceived hiccup with coach Kurt Rambis.

"Defensively, we had lapses the whole game," Love told the Pioneer Press. "In that situation, Anthony (Tolliver) was playing great down the stretch. You have to give credit to him and the rest of the guys on the floor."

"I talked to Kurt," Love added. "I'm fine with it. I don't want to use this as a telling tale for the whole season. I know I forced and rushed a lot of shots. We all were trying to play great because it was opening night, but it didn't work out for a lot of us."

Love said the right things here, but let's see how he feels in late January when he's averaging just 25 minutes a game. He might not be so fine with it then.

Posted on: October 28, 2010 4:09 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2010 4:17 pm
 

The curious case of Kevin Love

Posted by Royce Young

(When do you think people will stop using a form of that headline for questions about a topic? I mean, it's been almost four years since that movie came out. Anyway, on to the point.)

After a summer tearing up the world on the glass at the World Championships and a preseason where he put up 32 and 20 in 28 minutes of action, the common thinking was that Kevin Love would finally start getting the minutes he deserved.

Most agree he's the Minnesota Timberwolves best player. Everyone agrees he's at least a very good player. And yet in the Wolves opener against the Kings, Love played only 24 minutes and sat the last eight despite playing well with 11 points and 10 rebounds. So why did he sit?

Kurt Rambis offered an explanation, via the Star Tribune, when asked why he sat his best player:
That’s your opinion,” he said. “I thought Anthony (Tolliver) was doing the things defensively that we need. It was nothing against Kevin. I thought A.T. was doing a good job. I thought that he was moving his feet well. He challenged shots. He blocked shots.

“Rather than turning it into a derogatory thing with Kevin, it’s a complimentary thing toward A.T.”

Except I don't think Love took it that way. However, to Rambis' point, Tolliver did do well in weakside help, highlighted by this fairly excellent block. But at the same time, sitting Love the final 8:24 and playing him just 24 minutes compared to Tolliver's 28? How did Love feel about that?

... well?

Oh, Love didn't say anything. Because he skipped out of the locker room before reporters could ask. In other words, he's not happy about it. Last season, everyone thought Minnesota had one of the most promising frontcourts in the league with Al Jefferson and Kevin Love. Now, it looks like both could be run out of town and replaced with Darko Milicic and Anthony Tolliver. Yee-haw!

I thought this flowchart from Canis Hoopus put it well:

That sums it up pretty nicely. The other team got a rebound? Bench Kevin Love. The other team is scoring? Bench Kevin Love. The halftime show was subpar? Bench Kevin Love. It's really kind of how it works.

Is this a one game thing or will this become routine for Rambis? There's no doubt Love deserves at least 30 minutes a night and probably more. It's hard not to wonder if the Wolves would've won the game against the Kings if Love had played the last eight minutes (they lost 117-116). Love isn't a great defender, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't play. Carmelo Anthony is probably Denver's worst defender too, but he's not sitting down in crunch time.

They said it was all about transparency and honesty in Minnesota now. I think if they were being transparent here, they'd say, "For whatever reason, we just don't like Kevin Love. Or really, we just prefer to lose." Because as far as explaining why he plays just 24 minutes, there's no transparent or honest answer that makes sense. 

There are a lot of problems in Minnesota right now from the existing roster, to Ricky Rubio to injuries. But a lot of those things can be helped by one simple basketball principle: Play your best players. Unless Kurt Rambis figures that out, he may be watching another one walk out the door with only a couple draft picks in return.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com