Rambis: Wolves 'clearly didn't come out ready to play' in latest loss
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves were coming off a win, a day off and, according to players and coaches, some of the best practices of the year.
But none of that mattered in the 102-84 steamrolling by the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday in what was one of the flattest performances of the season by one of the league's worst steams.
"We clearly didn't come out ready to play this ball game," said coach Kurt Rambis.
The Wolves essentially sleepwalked through a game against a Grizzlies team that outplayed them in nearly every statistical category.
"I thought we had our two best practices in a while the past couple day sand we come out and to say we played poorly would be an understatement," Kevin Love said.
Flynn finished the game with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting, five assists and a turnover in a season-high 26 minutes.
"I think I made a step in my rehab. Getting back. I made a great step being able to play the amount of minutes I played, doing some of the things I was doing out there," Flynn said.
Rambis called Flynn's performance "OK" and Flynn gave himself a letter grade of a 'B' but he still showed signs of erratic play that have plagued him since coming into the league.
Flynn was pulled just two-and-a-half minutes into the third quarter after missing two consecutive bad shots and was replaced by Sebastian Telfair, who was also getting extended run in the absence of Ridnour.
"I was given some minutes tonight," Telfair said. "I wish I could have played better in the second half to get into a rhythm. Came in early (in the second-half), had an opportunity to play with the starting unit in the second half and things weren't going too right for us."
Telfair finished with six points on 3-of-8 shooting, five assists, a steal and a turnover in 21 minutes, his most since Flynn returned from surgery.
The game was all but decided midway through the third quarter and all that was left to watch was if Kevin Love would extend his double-double streak to 34 games.
Both Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol were giving Love all he could handle in the first-half causing Love to head to the locker room with just two points and four rebounds.
But once the game was out of hand, Love was able to eek out a 10 point 10 rebound double-double, his worst game since being held scoreless against the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov 11. Coincidently, the current double-double streak began the next game against Oklahoma City Thunder.
"I thought we had our two best practices in a while the past couple day sand we come out and to say we played poorly would be an understatement," Love said.
Love had a scary moment midway through the fourth quarter when he took a Randolph elbow to the chops on the defensive end and was down underneath the basket. Play went continue on the other end -- because Rambis did not call a timeout -- before Love eventually made his way down the court, holding his mouth the entire time.
Love said after the game that the only thing that kept his tooth in his mouth was his braces and he was in pain.
"I didn't know what was going to happen," Love said. "That was severe pain right there. Most of the times it's to somewhere else that you can't run down the floor but I haven't felt a pain like that in my mouth, I don't think, ever. So that was rough."
Rambis said he saw Love was down but decided not to call a timeout, "One of the things we want all of our players to learn is that you have to continue to play. Guys have to play. Those are things that they have to learn."
Hindsight being what it is, perhaps that was the wrong time to send a message and the wrong player to try to send it to.