USA TODAY Sports
The date was March 9. 2012. The Timberwolves were 21-19 and were 8th in the Western Conference. The temperature in Minnesota was way above average at this time and was mostly hitting 50's 60's 70's. That night the Timberwolves were facing the 23-16 Los Angeles Lakers who had a 17 game winning streak against the Timberwolves. At the Target Center that night, they had a special promotion called Whiteout where they put white t-shirts on all the seats in the Target Center.
With 16 seconds left in the game, the Timberwolves were up 102-101 vs the Lakers. Kobe Bryant draws the foul against Ricky Rubio to make Kobe go to the line to shoot two free throws. On the play Ricky Rubio was on the floor grimacing with pain. Rubio needed help from his teammates to get of the floor and Rick Adelman put Wes Johnson in to replace Rubio. Kobe would make both free throws and gave the Lakers a 103-102 lead. After the free throws, Derrick Williams took a shot and got blocked by Pau Gasol and was rebounded by Kobe Bryant.
Nikola Pekovic intentionally fouled Bryant and sent Kobe back to the line to shoot two more. Kobe would make both of them and gave the Lakers a 105-102 lead. With one second left, Luke Ridnour attempted a 28-foot three point jumper to try to tie the game and send it to overtime. He missed and the Lakers had recorded their 18th straight win against the Timberwolves. A day later on 66 degree day, we heard the devastating news that Ricky Rubio had torn his ACL and was out for the season. The Timberwolves would finish the last 25 games 5-20, had an overall record of 26-40 that season, ended up 12th in the Western Conference, and missed the playoffs for the 8th straight season.
We fast-forward a year later and the temperatures are back to average, The Timberwolves are playing the Denver Nuggets with a healthy Ricky Rubio, we have a 21-37 record, a lot of injured players,12th place in the Western Conference, and unless a total miracle happens.... it looks like were gonna miss the playoffs again for the 9th straight season.