Ricky Rubio's blooper-worthy blown layup symbolizes T-Wolves's downward spiral [VIDEO]
Rookie Alexey Shved, one of the few silver linings during a depressing season, got bit by the Wolves's formidable injury bug last night on this play.
Last night, the Timberwolves went down in defeat, and two more key players left the game with injuries. In other words, it was pretty much a typical day in the course of an increasingly lost season.
A campaign that began with so much promise has gone off the rails thanks to injuries and uninspired play. Last night's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers was the Wolves's fifth straight, dropping them to a season-worst four games below .500 (16-20).
One of the few brights spots has been the return of Ricky Rubio from ACL surgery, but even that has been disappointing. While a bit of rust is expected, through 11 games Rubio is shooting an absolutely dreadful 22 percent from the floor (he hasn't made a three-pointer all season) while struggling to regain the quickness and burst he clearly lost during his nine months on the shelf.
All Wolves fans can do is hope that this blooper-worthy blown layup during the second quarter of last night's game ends up representing the low point of Ricky's NBA career:
As Shaq said during the clip, "We know he's just coming off injury, but come on Ricky... c'mon Ricky, what are you doing?!"
And oh yeah, the Wolves lost Alexey Shved to an ugly-looking sprained ankle and the injury-prone Nikola Pekovic to a thigh bruise. So here's the latest update to the team's too-injured-to-perform list: Pekovic, Shved, Kevin Love, Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger, and Malcolm Lee (Josh Howard was cut after tearing his ACL). In other words, the Wolves have more talent on the injured list than they do on their current roster.
In the midst of what acting head coach Terry Porter (Rick Adelman has been out for more than a week tending to his sick wife) called "a perfect storm," Rubio, at least, seems to be maintaining his positive attitude. Here's what he said to reporters after last night's game (via the Star Tribune):
It's tough, I'm not going to hide it... It's tough when you're playing and there are no more bodies there, but that's no excuse. We are professionals. We're going to be here and I think the players who are healthy have to step up and do a better job.
And [I'm] still not 100 percent. It's tough, like I said, but we have two ways to do it: One: Complaining because of all the injuries and all this stuff. I don't think that is the way. And the way is, be a man. I think we have to step up. Everybody has to know his new role. Every game it's changing and that's hard to do, but we are here and we are going to do it. We have to win. That is why we are here, and to have fun. I don't think we are having fun...
Everybody going to change it. I'm going to try to change it, too. I'm going to work hard and try to do whatever I need to do. I'm really frustrated right now, especially with me. Well, we're going to change it.
They'll need to change it soon if they want to remain relevant in the Western Conference's crowded and competitive playoff chase. Otherwise, Wolves fans are facing their eighth-straight spring of meaningless games in a league where more than half the teams make the playoffs. It wasn't supposed to be that way this year, but such is life when half your team (along with the head coach) are on the shelf.
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