have to find a way to get back in the game

Luc Mbah a Moute

Before the game coach Rick Adelman said Mbah a Moute was probably the team best defender. Afterward, Adelman was asked if he considered putting in the defensive specialist they traded for in November.

Yeah, but we were 10 points down, too, Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. have to find a way to get back in the game. Everyone wants to know about the guys not playing. That’s where he can be very, very helpful. Derrick Williams the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft whom the Wolves exchanged for Moute had 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting and 5 rebounds.

An O fer with levity

The Wolves are now 0 11 in games decided by four or fewer points a stat with growing popularity, so much so that ESPN ran with it after Wednesday 111 108 loss.

But Adelman has said that stat is misleading. His team has overcome large deficits to make it close at the end. He repeated that view again Wednesday night after Kevin Love made three pointers in the last minute to get Minnesota within that margin.

## ## course, it’s another four point game, Adelman kidded in an otherwise stern news conference. should have stayed away from the threes, so it would have been like eight.

Derrick Williams, Flip Saunders, George Karl, Kevin Martin, Luc Mbah a Moute, NBA, Rick Adelman, Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves

Comments Off on WOLVES NOW: George Karl on what the team needs

George Karl coached teams made the NBA playoff in an astounded 22 of his 25 years on the bench. This week, the reigning NBA coach of the year turned ESPN analyst shared what the Timberwolves must do to make the playoffs.

“I really enjoy their basketball team,” Karl said in opening remarks to Wolves Now. “Two things that come to mind are shooting and defense.”

Minnesota has the third highest scoring offense at 105.5 points per game. They put up 120 points in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday to improve to 13 13.

However, the Wolves give up the fifth most points per game at 102. The Wolves currently sit in the No. 10 spot in the Western Conference and would miss the playoffs after roughly the first third of the season.

“In my mind, they are relying too much on their offense to win games,” Karl said. “I would like to see them win some games with some defensive concentration and focus. You have to protect the basket and I don’t see that. Their big guys are not shot blockers. They don’t patrol the paint. That is not their consciousness.”

Wolves coach Rick Adelman, who has 23 years of his own experience, has been working in “by far” his best shot blocker, Gorgui Dieng, but the rookie from Senegal by way of Louisville remains raw.

Karl said the Wolves missed a veteran shutdown defender, an Andrei “Kirilenko type player.”

Karl said it’s a guy with the fourth quarter “courage and the mission” to go one on one with the other team’s best player. Instead of the Wolves having to “play concepts and gimmicks to disrupt the best player.”

“That is a stopper that you can say, ‘OK, Andrei, you are going to take LeBron tonight. Tomorrow, you are going to cover Chris Paul and the next day you have Kevin Durant.’ ”

Karl said he liked the defensive specialist the Wolves traded for in Luc Mbah a Moute in November. The Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders said Mbah a Moute can provide that versatile defense. Mbah a Moute, who is averaging 17 minutes per game, has four steals and two blocks in nine games with the Wolves.

“We thought Moute was a great defender,” Karl said of his time in Denver. “His offensive liabilities, with a team as good offensively as Minnesota, you can live with that.”

On shooting, Karl has said that Ricky Rubio and, to a degree, Kevin Martin have been inconsistent.

Like most Wolves fans, the team awaits the return of swingman Chase Budinger, who was cleared for full contact practice Wednesday. He has played in 23 games in the last two seasons, limited by reoccurring knee problems.

“It will be interesting when Budinger comes back because I think that guy can come in and give them the shooting expertise while a team tries to take away Rubio’s penetration and his play making by sagging and clogging the paint and also crowding (Kevin) Love and (Nikola Pekovic).”

For other Wolves fans, Karl said that Derrick Williams, the piece given up for Mbah a Moute, has new life in Sacramento.

“A lot of times in the NBA,” Karl added, “it’s the second or third chance that you get where you will be really blossom.”

The Timberwolves made the trade of former No.2 pick Derrick Williams to the Sacramento Kings for Luc Mbah a Moute official Tuesday morning.

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