Kevin Love's double-double streak snapped; Anthony Randolph improving
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
Kevin Love's double-double streak came to an end at 53 games when he took to the bench with 4:07 remaining in Sunday's 100-77 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
It was the points that did in Love's double-double run just two games after he set the mark for most consecutive since the NBA/ABA merger. He finished with six points and 12 rebounds on just 1-of-6 shooting.
Coach Kurt Rambis may feel the heat from fans for pulling Love out of the game rather than let him try to poach late points in a blowout loss but those claims will be unfounded. Love has been battling a sore knee and leaving him in to pad his stats would just trivialize the streak more than it already has been.
Anthony Randolph returned to the place he called home for the first season-and-a-half of his NBA career. Golden State drafted Randolph 14th overall in 2008 but gave up on him 33 games into his sophomore season by trading him to the New York Knicks.
Randolph was on the Wolves radar for over a year after he had an impressive showing in the Las Vegas summer league. The Wolves landed their guy near the trade deadline by giving up Corey Brewer and Kosta Koufus in the blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks.
Sunday's game was the 10th appearance by Randolph in a Wolves' uniform and finished with eight points, two rebounds, two assists and a block in 20 minutes.
Both Rambis and president of basketball operations David Kahn set the bar low for Randolph, saying they wanted him to become acclimated with the team the final games of the season.
He is getting better," Rambis said on Friday. "He is a very inquisitive young man. He wants to do what's right. Things that we are asking him to do are a little bit different than what he has done in the past, maybe somewhat against the grains of what his instincts are. He is learning how to fit in with everybody else."
"He had a hip issue and with him getting sick, kind of slowed things down a little bit but I think he is picking it up nicely."
Randolph's best game came two weeks ago in Philadelphia against the 76ers when he put up 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added 10 boards.
The appeal of Randolph is the athleticism he possesses despite his 6-foot-10 frame and, to use the old cliché, as a lot of upside. One of the knocks on him is his slight frame. Randolph weighs just 205 pounds and is by far one of the skinniest players in the league, leading to some to question of he needs to put on weight.
"It is hard with slight-frame guys, skinny guys," Rambis said. "If you are expecting them to put on 50 pounds of muscle, that rarely happens. Moses Malone is the one guy that comes to mind that came into this league really skinny and put on a lot of weight and got bigger and stronger. That was such a long time ago."
One of the unique aspects of Randolph's skill set is his speed and ability to put the ball on the floor, something Rambis says might be hindered if Randolph were to bulk up.
"We always want our guys to be as big and strong as they can possibly be without it affecting their speed, their quickness, their ability to get up and down the floor. Sometimes the extra weight hampers guys, slows them down, makes them less explosive. So you have to really monitor it."
Randolph has averaged only 14 minutes per game it is clear he needs more time to get comfortable and fall into a rhythm.
"He definitely needs to improve. He hasn't played much since he has been in the league. As you go through the league and as you play against players more and more, you learn what you can do against those players," Rambis said.