After loss, Barea says Wolves 'have a lot of guys that don't care'
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MINNEAPOLIS -- J.J. Barea has seen enough after the Minnesota Timberwolves blew a 20+ point lead to the Golden State Warriors for the second time this month in Sunday's 93-88 loss.
"We got problems here," an emotional Barea said. "We got a lot of guys that don't care. When your basketball team has a bunch of players that don't care it is tough to win games. ...
"We're just going to keep getting (loses) until we get players in here that care about winning, care about the team, care about the fans."
Barea -- who played all 48 minutes, scoring 14 points and dishing 12 assists -- didn't name any specific teammates during his time with the media, but he made it clear he believes there is a divide in the locker room between guys who care and those who don't.
"There is a bunch of us that care and play hard and there is a bunch of us that don't care. We need to change that," he said.
One of Barea's complaints was that some players don't care after an embarrassing loss like that.
"We were brutal in the second half, nobody was fighting, nobody was getting mad at anybody," he continued. "After a game like this you have to have problems, you gotta argue with your teammates. But nobody really cares. We have to change that."
But Barea's teammates weren't exactly echoing his sentiment after the loss.
"Until you point those guys out one-by-one, it doesn't really matter. That was a collective loss," Michael Beasley said.
Added Anthony Tolliver, "Whenever you're struggling, a lot of times people want to blame somebody else but the biggest thing is that people need to look in the mirror. Plain and simple. The hardest thing to do is to (say it was my fault). It is really easy to say you should have done that or you should have done that."
"It is disappointing that it is even brought up, that guys don't care," Beasley said. "We got one more left. Just go out there and play hard. Those who don't care won't be here next year."
Barea made it clear that he thinks there needs to be changes over the summer, but those decisions are up to management. Still, the veteran -- coming off an NBA Championship with the Dallas Mavericks -- says he isn't going to pack it in during the final week of the season.
"I am going to keep trying, keep talking with them, keep fighting with them, go to practice hard and go play hard again and see what happens," he said.
It was déjà vu for the Wolves
For the second time this month the Wolves blew a 20+ point lead.
"Just felt like the exact same thing happened," Tolliver said. "Played well in the first half, (got the lead), and just let up I guess."
The Wolves outdid themselves Sunday. They blew a 20-point lead in the April 4 97-94 loss to the Warriors. Sunday they led by as many as 21 points.
The Wolves were once again shorthanded without Kevin Love and Luke Ridnour but appeared to not need either of them after jumping all over the run-down Warriors who were playing their third game in as many nights.
But the 21-point lead they jumped out to slowly trickled away in the second half as the Wolves got complacent on defense and even sloppier on offense.
"It was embarrassing," Beasley said. "We had the lead, got comfortable and they got going and we didn't have any answers."
The lead was officially dusted with 8:05 left in the fourth quarter when Brandon Rush hit a turnaround jumper to tie the game and open up a 12-6 run in the final frame.
The first Warrior lead came two minutes later when Charles Jenkins put the visitors up 83-81 while the offense for the Wolves looked as ugly as it had all season.
Rush sunk a three in the corner to give the Warriors a 90-88 lead with 1:09 left in the game and the Wolves needing a big basket to avoid their second embarrassing choke against the Warriors in a month. But the Wolves turned the ball over and allowed Dominic McGuire to convert a three-point play on the other end to give the Warriors a 93-88 lead and seal the game.
The Wolves scored only 33 points in the second half after scoring 32 in the first quarter. The Wolves as a team shot 10 of 40 (25%) in the second half and allowed the Warriors to get whatever they wanted offensively. The visitors shot 25 of 44 (56.8%) and scored 54 total points in a total defensive meltdown.
8: 10+ assist games for Barea after his 12-dish performance Sunday. He also added 14 points.
100: Percent at the FT for the Wolves. One of the few statistical bright spots in their latest embarrassment.
Love shut down
Love passed all the mandatory concussion tests but the training staff, coaches and Love himself decided it would be best to shut him down for the rest of the season and have him watch the final two games from the bench.
Love had return to practice after missing five games with the concussion he suffered April 11 in a loss at Denver but the team decided there was no sense in risking further injury to play in two games that are ultimately meaningless.
"He isn't ready to play for sure after watching him play (at practice on Saturday)," Adelman said.
Love currently sits at No. 4 in the league in points per game at 26 and No. 2 in the league in rebounds per game at 13.3. Love also shot made a career-high 105 3-pointers despite only playing in 55 games.
"He had a great year," Adelman said. "Unfortunate he got hurt like that but he is the fourth leading scorer, second leading rebounder, that is pretty good. He has been playing at a high level all year."
Barea said he wasn't surprised by the news that Love would miss the final two games but did admit that selfishly he wanted to play with him again before the season ended.
In a season where Love signed he a long-term extension that will keep him in Minnesota until at least the 2014-15 season with a player option for 2015-16, he also set a franchise record 51 points in a game and was on the fringe of the MVP conversation before the team was pounded by injuries and lost control of their season.
• Luke Ridnour missed his 10th straight game with a sprained right ankle and Adelman expressed doubt if he would play in the season finale against the Denver Nuggets.
"I'd be surprised (if he played)," Adelman said "He really struggled moving around (at practice Saturday). We have four days and I don't know what the future holds but after seeing him (Saturday) I see no reason to put him out there."
Although it wasn't announced by the team that Ridnour was done for the season, all signs point to the 8-year veteran taking the final night of the season off as well. But Adelman doesn't think there will be any offseason surgery needed to repair the ankle.
"I just think it was a really bad sprain and sometimes when you try to put somebody out there like that they hurt something else so we don't want to take a chance," he said.
• Darko Milicic missed his twelfth straight contest and Adelman said he won't return this season.
The Wolves have three days off before this wagon train comes to a merciful halt in Thursday's season-finale against the Denver Nuggets at Target Center.
The Nuggets (35-28) have a 2-1 series lead with the lone win for the Wolves coming in a 117-100 shootout at Target Center in March. The Nuggets still have playoff positioning to play for Thursday while the Wolves continue to play just for pride.