Rick Adelman has missed the last five games attending to his hospitalized wife. Assistant coach Terry Porter is set to coach his sixth straight game replacing Adelman tonight against the LA Clippers. The Wolves have been reeling since Adelman’s departure, losing four straight. Adelman’s absence also coincides with Kevin Love breaking his right hand for the second time this season, which certainly has been a factor in recent play as well.
The Timberwolves appear to be dragging and significantly affected by the current stretch. Adelman had the opportunity to speak directly with the players for the first time since he left. While he has been watching games and offering advice to coaches throughout the last week, he has been unable to meet directly with the team to offer support and encouragement through this difficult stretch of the season.
“We miss him and we know he’s going through some hard stuff,” Ricky Rubio said after Adelman’s visit with the team. “But we are with him and we support him any time.”
Rubio continues to struggle in his return from knee surgery and is clearly not the same player he was on the court last season. While Rubio recovers every day, injuries have been nonstop this season. Love, Chase Budinger and Brandon Roy remain out for significant lengths of time. In addition to their absence, a different Wolves player seems miss practice every day. Andrei Kirilenko, Alexey Shved and Lazar Hayward all were out yesterday, leaving Minnesota with eight players for practice.
“We’re going through some tough times,” J.J. Barea said. “We’ve just got to stay together, keep fighting, keep fighting. Try to steal a couple games here and there and hopefully at some point everybody comes back and we can make a run.”
Added Derrick Williams, “We’ve just got to come ready to play. “Even though we’re down and we’re hurt and a couple guys are playing hurt, we’ve just got to do what we have to do. Just get out there and play for each other, play for the fans and deal with what we have right now.”
We’ll see if Adelman’s visit inspired the team at all tonight against LAC. Hopefully it does. We here at TCH continue to keep Adelman’s wife in our thoughts as they go through this difficult time.