Recap of last night's loss to Miami...Wolves in OKC tonight...Curry on why he didn't work out for the Wolves...Players and Rambis receive few technicals...
Wolves record: 15-61
A day after the Timberwolves snapped their 16-game losing streak, coach Kurt Rambis talked about the Wolves needing a player who can "bail a team out" when the offense is struggling, a player who doesn't always need a set play to score.
Whether or not Rambis was talking about Miami's Dwyane Wade, the superstar guard fits the description very well. Wade scored 12 straight points late in the fourth quarter and finished with a game-high 39 Saturday night to lead Miami to a 97-84 victory over the Timberwolves at Target Center.
"You just shake your head at what he does," Wolves forward Kevin Love said of Wade, the NBA's fifth-leading scorer. "Sometimes you can't do much about it."
From Jim Beilby/NBA.com:
Minnesota not only lost the game, they lost their starting center Darko Milicic, to an apparent jaw injury.
"Obviously we had some lapses out there, but the majority of the game I was very pleased with," Kurt Rambis said. "Losing Darko hurt; he had such an imposing presence inside defensively, so him not coming back in the second half hurt us."
Minnesota needs one more win to guarantee it won't match the franchise's worst season, set in 1991-92.
Previews for tonight's game at Oklahoma City:
Q. Why didn't you work out for the Wolves last summer?
A. Good question. I don't even really remember. What's their GM's name? David Kahn, that's right. I talked with him at the pre-draft camp. They were interested in me. I just felt like Golden State and New York and Sacramento were a better fit.
Q. Because of the direction those franchises were headed or because of these cold Minnesota winters?
A. They didn't have a coach at the time. I wasn't sure what direction they were going in.
Rambis' positive relationship has carried over to his new position as an NBA coach. He's seen plenty of calls that make him angry, but he's not prone to outbursts. And as a result, Rambis has been whistled for only four technical fouls with the Wolves, or less than half as many as NBA leaders Mike Woodson of Atlanta and Indiana's Jim O'Brien, who have 10 apiece.
"Sometimes I get angry. But my approach is to talk to the referees. Nobody likes to be yelled at, to be screamed at," Rambis said. "There are times when it's appropriate and you go and talk to the referee. After going through it as a player myself, I learned they respond better if you have a conversation about it."
That approach has rubbed off on his players. Wolves players have collected a mere eight technicals all season, or half as many as Rasheed Wallace and Dwight Howard.
And only the Knicks (10), Sixers (10) and Nets (11) have fewer technicals this season than Minnesota's even dozen.
- I mentioned in my story that the Wolves have been whistled for few technical fouls this season, but I really thought Rambis would get one Saturday. He was on the officials pretty hard, and when referee Sean Wright explained one call to him, Rambis yelled an expletive, then four or five times yelled, "You're making stuff up! Don't make stuff up, Sean!"
-- It was cut from the story, but here's the Wolves' technical foul breakdown this year: Ryan Hollins four, Damien Wilkins two, Darko Milicic and Jonny Flynn, one apiece.
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