Adelman Ended Major Wolves Losing Streaks In 3-year Tenure

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Rick Adelman retired from coaching after 23 seasons in the NBA on Monday with an overall record of 1,042-749. The final three of those 23 seasons came in Minnesota, where he compiled a 97-133 mark. The Wolves did not make the playoffs during those three seasons, but there was progress made in each of the three seasons. The team improved its win total each year (26, 31, 40) under Adelman, and those 97 wins were 19 more than the Wolves had in the previous three seasons under Kurt Rambis, Randy Wittman and Kevin McHale.


And then there are the streak busters.

During the years since Kevin Garnett left the franchise (and in parts of the years when KG was still here) the Wolves had rough stretches against a collection of teams across the NBA. By the time Adelman took over prior to the 2011-12 season, the Wolves had sizeable losing streaks going against roughly one-half of the NBA.

Adelman helped change that. Take a look at some of the noteworthy streaks that Adelman’s Wolves broke during his time here in Minnesota:


  •          Vs. Atlanta — 11 games
  •          Vs. Boston — 11 games
  •          Vs. Chicago — 7 games
  •          Vs. Dallas — 5 games
  •          Vs. Denver — 7 games
  •          Vs. L.A. Lakers — 22 games
  •          Vs. Memphis — 11 games
  •          Vs. Miami — 7 games
  •          Vs. Oklahoma City — 12 games
  •          Vs. Orlando — 7 games
  •          Vs. Phoenix — 9 games
  •          Vs. Portland — 16 games
  •          Vs. San Antonio — 16 games


A couple of those were pretty significant turnarounds. The Mavericks, for instance, won five straight and 17-of-18 against Minnesota before Adelman took over. Adelman went 7-3 against Dallas during his three years here with the Wolves. And San Antonio won 16 straight against the Wolves before Adelman took over. Adelman not only snapped that streak in his first game against San Antonio, but he went 5-5 against the Spurs in three seasons with the Timberwolves. The Spurs went 165-55 against the rest of the league during that span.

Adelman won his 1,000th career game at Target Center on April 6, 2013, against the Detroit Pistons. In doing so, he became just the eighth coach in NBA history to achieve that feat—joining Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens, Phil Jackson, George Karl, Jerry Sloan, Pat Riley and Larry Brown.

In three years, Adelman became the second-winningest coach in Timberwolves history. He trails only Flip Saunders’ 411-326 record.


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