There are several memorable Timberwolves plays that have occurred during this hopefully-forgettable season. But one stands out in my mind for what it meant for the season, and the future of the Timberwolves: Andrew Bynum's "hard foul" on Michael Beasley.
The foul was not even the crucial part. It was Rambis' comments afterward:
"That's playoff basketball," said Rambis, the longtime Lakers player and coach. "They're gearing up for it, you know? I thought it was good for our guys to see how rough and physical a game can be, and that's a good thing for our learning experience."
"I know Andrew, he wasn't going up to do anyting malicious, He was just going to protect the basket. So I think he was making a good basketball play out of it. Those [flagrant fouls] are judgment calls by the referees. Unfortunately, Michael got hurt on it."
Now, to be fair to Rambis, a few days later he came down a little harder on Bynum:
"He made no play on the ball," Rambis said Sunday before the Wolves hosted Sacramento. "It's unfortunate that things like that happen in basketball, but it was the right call. Michael (Beasley) is relatively lucky he didn't get more hurt than he did."
However, I think by then the damage was done. And the fact that it happened against the Lakers is either a very unfortunate coincidence, or fuel for the fire for those who question Rambis' commitment to the Wolves and his players. In other words, if there were any doubt to where the allegiances of Rambis were, his lack of instant outrage over one of his best players being brutalized by a Laker certainly couldn't help inspire confidence in him from his players.
Since that game the Wolves have lost eight straight, and other than the Boston game they haven't put up nearly as much effort during the losing streak as they have in other parts of the season. True, Bynum's mugging injured Beasley and may have affected his play. And nagging injuries to Love and Darko(!) have kept the team below its already-low level of maximum efficiency.
But it wouldn't be shocking to find out that the passive reaction from Rambis was disappointing to the players, and combined with having nearly the worst record in the league, it's enough for Love, etc. to lose whatever faith they had left in their feathered-haired coach.
If there is a silver lining to the incident, the loss of Love's confidence may be enough to get Glen to get rid of Rambis, knowing that it's easier to find a coach like Rambis than it is to find a player like Love.
Do you agree, or is there another play that springs to mind as being more important to the franchise during the season and in the future?