I will keep this one brief. After receiving the shocking news that rookie phenom Ricky Rubio suffered a torn ACL in his left knee against the Lakers, the Timberwolves lost to the lowly New Orleans Hornets, who won just their 6th game on the road this season on the final game of Minnesota’s 4 game homestand. Combined with the absence of JJ Barea, Minnesota got very poor production out of their guards. The Hornets tallied a ridiculous 28 assists compared to the Timberwolves 19, and the Timberpups played lackadaisical defense throughout the contest. The Pups allowed disgruntled center Chris Kaman to bang around the interior, and he put up 20 points and 6 rebounds, making the Hornets 5-0 when Kaman scores 20+ points this season.
Kevin Love was able to go after missing Friday’s game due to back spasms, but despite scoring 31 points and grabbing 16 rebounds, it was simply not enough to defeat the worst team in the Western Conference. A big positive for the Wolves was center Nikola Pekovic, who scored 21 points on 9-13 shooting while snagging 11 rebounds. The Timberwolves frontcourt played very well , but the loss of Ricky Rubio took a large toll on the teams ability to distribute and run the offense to its potential. It is obviously going to take time for the Wolves to learn to play without Ricky Rubio, and last night’s loss to the Hornets showed that there are going to need to be some major adjustments made if the Timberwolves want to stay in the playoff hunt. This next stretch of road games will come to define the this Timberwolves season, and will the loss of Ricky Rubio inevitably mean the loss of this season?