A Wasteland Of Despair And Ineptitude …………..
There was a time when I use to think that the ‘majority’ of the ‘really bad teams’ that resided in the NBA were in fact, in the Eastern Conference . Now I’m not quite so sure , based on last night’s performance by the Western Conference’s Minnesota Timberwolves. We can all attest to the fact that the New Jersey Nets are ‘woefully inept’ and that their impending full season record may well lead to an all-time low in the depths of mediocrity when it comes to the NBA But even the Nets haven’t given up an astounding 152 points in a regular season game.
The claim can be made that this might well have been the worse performance by any NBA franchise this season defensively, as the Timberwolves allowed the Phoenix Suns to amass 152 points against them in a ’38 point’ blowout loss 152-114 . The total amassed by the Suns was a league and it was the highest points total given up by the Timberwolves in a loss over the last decade.
Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports
By Bob Baum , AP Sports Writer
Phoenix (AP)—It’s an NBA law of physics: Put the highest-scoring team in the league against arguably the worst defense and watch the scoreboard light up like the Fourth of July.
Jason Richardson scored 27 points and Amare Stoudemire 25, then sat with the rest of the Phoenix starters while the Suns’ reserves finished off a 152-114 rout of Minnesota on Monday night in the highest-scoring game by an NBA team this season.
Lou Amundson matched his career high with 20 points as Phoenix sent the Timberwolves to their 10th straight loss and 16th in the last 17 games.
The Suns, with eight players in double figures, shot 56 percent from the field and 15 of 31 from 3-point range to win their ninth in 12 games.
“We’re just trying to gear up for the last 15 games,” Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said, “have a pace that we’re comfortable with.”
Corey Brewer scored 21 for the Timberwolves, who set a franchise record for most points allowed in a game.
“Well, that’s certainly what happens when you don’t play any defense,” Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis said.
Phoenix pulled alone into sixth place in the tight scramble for playoff positioning in the West. The Suns trail No. 5 Oklahoma City by a half-game and No. 4 Utah by 1 1/2 games. It was a perfect night to rest the starters in preparation for Friday night’s home game against the Jazz.
“And you know that will be a physical game,” Gentry said.
This one certainly wasn’t.
“It was a lot of fun,” Stoudemire said. “It was so much fun when the starters were able to rest there in the fourth. We’ll take that.”
Richardson, who scored 15 in the first quarter, matched his season high with six 3-pointers. Steve Nash(notes) had 13 points and 14 assists, nine of them in the opening period.
The game matched two of the bottom three teams in terms of points allowed this season. The difference was the Suns have a lot more scorers than woeful Minnesota does.
“We weren’t making that effort. They were playing a lot harder than we were,” Rambis said. “With a team that is in synch the way that they’re in, they understand how to move the basketball, the know where their options and their outlet passes are. They’re just too good.”
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For Timberwolves’ coach Kurt Rambis , he must be now wondering whether or not he wouldn’t have been better off remaining a part of Phil Jackson’s coaching staff with the Los Angeles Lakers ? Because based on last night’s evidence, this T’wolves’ team is in need of a great deal of coaching and discipline on both ends of the floor. GM Dave Kahn and team owner Glen Taylor had to have been shell-shocked from seeing their team being dismantled and completely bombarded by a Suns’ team , where all of their starters scored double figures. The Suns were led in scoring by Jason Richardson with 27 points and he was ably assisted by Amare’ Stoudemire who scored 25 points , to go along with the his usual customary defense. That asides, about the only thing that the T’wolves had going for them was the fact that the margin of victory wasn’t indeed greater. Other than the play of Corey Brewer and Ryan Gomes , there wasn’t much positive that the Minnesota Timberwolves could take away from this loss on the Suns’ homecourt at the US Airways Arena (Center) in downtown Phoenix.
Currently with a 14-54 mark, the Timberwolves have ‘the worse record’ in the Western Conference and are only marginally worse off than the Golden State Warriors who maintains a 5 game advantage over the T’wolves , with a 18-48 mark. Though it is nowhere near the abysmal total now set by New Jersey Nets and their record of 7-60 . It is easy to understand why ‘these two teams’ are now fighting for the ignominy of not ending up with the worse record in the NBA at the end of the regular season. OK, so there may well be light at the end of the tunnel in the fact one of these two teams will end up with the number one pick in the NBA Draft , dependent upon their chances in the lottery. But if the consensus is that two players coming out of that draft may well be Evan Turner of Ohio State and John Wall of Kentucky . Then things could very well be looking up for both teams in the future. Do you think that either of the team’s GM’s Dave Kahn and his Nets’ counterparts Rod Thorn , President of Basketball Operations and GM Alex Diaz will seek to ‘curry favor’ with David Stern , prior to the draft, in order to obtain a favorable showing in the NBA Draft lottery ?
The Nets may also have bigger aspirations, as they no doubt seek to be a part of the LeBron James sweepstakes at the end of the season, should the Cavaliers’ player indeed make his wishes known as to ‘his’ impending free agency status. But much of that may well be based on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ postseason showing. A trip to the NBA Finals and a Cavaliers’ triumph , pretty much to puts to rest any thoughts of James leaving the franchise. A defeat however, and he may well seek to play in the Big Apple, in Brooklyn, the soon to be, new home of a relocated Nets franchise .
For the Timberwolves’ organization the only direction is up . But a great deal of work now needs to be done by the front office and in particular by Rambis’ and his coaching staff . They possess some good young players but in large part there’s no veteran presence or leadership. So in essence it’s left to Brewer , Al Jefferson , rookies Jonny Flynn and Wayne Ellington to lead this team back to some semblance of respectability.
This is something that has to happen if the franchise is to have any goodwill with the remaining supporters there in the city. If there’s continued failure, then the fans will drift away in their support of ‘the team’ and the Timberwolves’ organization as a whole. And that’s going to be a formidable task if the team doesn’t avail itself of a top flight draftee in the 2010 NBA Draft. So it’s pretty much safe to say that the current wasteland of despair and ineptitude could either be a short run thing for the Timberwolves or it could end up being the norm for the foreseeable future. The same can be said of the fate for the New Jersey Nets also.
What are your thoughts on the matter ?
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………
Bone Thugs N Harmony ………..”Crossroads”