Wolves Wednesday: Defense has been a major problem

Author:
Updated:
Original:

After losing six of their last seven games, the Timberwolves need a win in a bad way. Their newest toughest foe is the Denver Nuggets, who they host tonight at Target Center in their final game before the All-Star break.

At 24-28, the Wolves will need to win 21 of their 30 remaining games to reach the 45 wins President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders believes they'll need to compete for a playoff spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

Why they've underachieved this season can be explained in a variety of ways, but none is more obvious than a lack of consistency on the defensive end. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune says the defense wasn't a strength of the team from the start, but injuries to Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin have made it worse over the last few weeks.

“Well, defense has been a concern of ours from Day 1,” said Terry Porter, who filled in for head coach Rick Adelman the last two days (Adelman was away for a personal reason, but will be back on the bench tonight). “When you lose 40 points [from your lineup], and you’re shorthanded, it becomes a tough task.”

Pekovic might be able to return from bursitis in his ankle after the All-Star break, but Martin is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a broken thumb.

“We’ve been struggling,” forward Corey Brewer said. “But it’s tough when you don’t have your core [players], when you’re without a bunch of your guys. … It’s a struggle. Guys are trying to fit in, do different things. But for us it’s just about getting better.”

Britt Robson of MinnPost writes that Minnesota earned their current spot – seven games out of the eighth and final playoff spot – before the injuries occurred. He says this has been the most disappointing season the Wolves have had in more than a decade.

It doesn't look good, but the Wolves can stop some of the bleeding tonight against Denver.

Next Up

Eype1UCW8AcXU8j

St. Cloud State blanked by UMass in national championship game

Minnesota had three teams in the Frozen Four but didn't claim the national title.

BLM mural in West St. Paul.

Minnesotan's fight to save his BLM mural gets international coverage

West St. Paul told Ryan Weyandt the art violates city code.

Alex Rodriguez

Reports: Alex Rodriguez part of group finalizing deal to buy Wolves, Lynx

The former MLB will become part-owner of the Wolves and Lynx.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Accumulating snow expected in parts of Minnesota on Monday

Far northwestern Minnesota stands the best chance for higher snow totals.

Screen Shot 2021-04-10 at 1.53.51 PM

Police looking for 'person of interest' in connection to woman's killing

The public is advised to avoid approaching him and to call 911.

covid, vaccine

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Saturday, April 10

Cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise in Minnesota.

Gabe Kalscheur

Gabe Kalscheur announces he's transferring to Iowa State

The former Gopher guard entered the transfer portal last month.

Walz

Asked about restrictions, Walz says Minnesota is in a 'hold pattern'

Meanwhile, the governor of Michigan is urging people to stay home to slow the spread.

walz and zapko

Watch: Beloved MN sign language interpreter profiled on Today Show

Nic Zapka's work made her an internet celebrity last year.

White Bear Lake Area High School

White Bear Lake students hold walkout over racist social media comments

School officials are investigating the anonymous Instagram account.

Related