Notebook: 'No shots fired' at coaches, Love says; Flynn frustrated
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Frustration was seemingly running high after the Minnesota Timberwolves blew another late-game lead to the Boston Celtics 96-93 on Monday.
After the game, Kevin Love made comments to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune that the coaching staff needed to be better down the stretch.
Love softened those statements Tuesday at practice and clarified he did not mean any disrespect to coach Kurt Rambis.
"It is on us to close out those ball games, too," Love said. "We are all still learning. Kurt (and his staff) are still learning to work together and so are we. No shots fired. Totally 100% behind them and I think the rest of the team is as well."
One play in particular where Love was frustrated came with 10.3 seconds left in the game. Down 94-93, Love grabbed the rebound off a Rajon Rondo miss while Boston -- assuming Minnesota would call a timeout -- didn't get back on defense, allowing Wesley Johnson to get wide open down the court but Rambis called a timeout before Love could get him the ball.
"I saw Wes naked down there so that would have put us ahead so I was about to throw it and I heard that whistle and I started jumping up and down because that would have been two points for us right there and we go up by one," Love said.
Rambis -- never one who enjoys dealing in hypothetical situations -- sarcastically said, "Next time that I know they are going to make a defensive mistake, I'll be sure to not call the timeout."
"Lord knows if I hadn't called the timeout and the ball had sailed out of bounds then you'd be asking me what the hell I was doing not calling the timeout," Rambis said.
Rambis did not have much to say about Love's comments that the coaching staff needs to be better down the stretch. When a reporter asked if he is doing everything he can to put the team in a situation to win down the stretch, Rambis simply replied, "Yes."
This isn't exactly how Jonny Flynn drew up his sophomore season.
Ten games since returning from hip surgery he had in July, Flynn's playing time has been sparse and his patience is wearing thin.
"If you competitive, if you are a guy that believes in yourself, you are going to be frustrated," Flynn said. "You are going to be mad. "You are going to ask questions of why certain things are happening."
Flynn did not score in his second consecutive game Monday night and only played 12:58 in a loss to the Celtics.
Flynn said he is recovered from a slight ankle sprain that the injury had nothing to do with his second-lowest minute total of the season Monday.
"That's just (the minutes) I got," Flynn said. "You got to ask (Rambis) about that. I just come in every day and do what you can do. But I am healthy. I am feeling good. I don't know what it is."
Flynn has only cracked the 20-minute mark twice this season and has struggled to get into any sort of rhythm.
"He's just got to get more comfortable out there and do things offensively and defensively at a higher rate with more success at both ends of the floor," Rambis said.
Flynn has acknowledged he could be on the trading block and, although he would like to stay, wants to get on the court even more.
"I love Minnesota," Flynn said. "If it was possible for me to stay, I would like to. But at the end of the day you want to be on the court playing. So whatever situation happens that gets me on the court playing, that's the situation I want to have happen."
It's a dispute as old as the player-coach relationship. Player says he is ready to play, coach say he isn't quite there.
When told that Rambis said that he may be ready to play Sunday, Anthony Tolliver said, "Maybe Friday. That's what I say."
Tolliver has been missing since spraining his right MCL Dec. 4 but says he is ready to go after going through full contact practice.
"I've had about a week straight of no pain so I really don't know what the wait is now," Tolliver said.
"I could have played (Monday) but that is not my decision I guess," Tolliver said. "I am really pushing for Friday (against Portland). It will be a test of wills I guess to see how that goes. But I plan on being in uniform Friday."
The team announced today that they waived point guard Sundiata Gaines.
Gaines appeared in eight games for the Wolves this season, averaging 2.6 points in 8.1 minutes. He was originally signed by the Wolves as a free agent on Nov. 12.
With no corresponding move yet, the roster stands at 14 players -- one below the limit -- so it is possible this was done to free up room for an impending trade.