Shootaround Access: Wolves vs. Knicks | March 5, 2014
Timberwolves vs. Knicks | 7:00 PM — Target Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North Plus
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
The Minnesota Timberwolves were at an unfamiliar place for Wednesday morning’s shootaround.
The Wolves had spent 12 days on the road. It was a long, but successful trip, in which the team went 4-1. Minnesota now hosts the struggling New York Knicks tonight and while the success of the road was nice, the comfort of being home will be nice for a squad fighting for the eighth seed in the West.
“Yeah, I mean there’s you know, only 25 or less games left so if we’re going to do it, we have to do it now, especially when we’re at home,” said Kevin Love at the LifeTime Practice Facility. “So, we’re going to be prepared tonight, hopefully the crowd will be into it.”
The crowd should be into it. The Wolves sit at 30-29 overall, good for tenth place in the West and just 4.5 games back from the Phoenix Suns for a playoff berth.
With all of the close losses early in the season, it’s easy to wonder “what could have been” when looking at the standings had the Wolves won three or four of those.
“We just worry about the next game and that’s what we’ve been doing the last couple weeks,” said point guard Ricky Rubio. “Maybe earlier in the season we were looking to much to the future and we weren’t focused on what’s next.”
Next up for the Wolves will be the struggling New York Knicks, a team that has dropped seven straight games and at 21-40 overall, have a very slim chance of making the playoffs. The Knicks haven’t been on the same page much at all this season, but head coach Mike Woodson doesn’t think he’s lost his team just yet.
“I don’t think they’re tuning me out, they’re still listening, but we’re just not getting it done on the basketball floor,” Woodson said. "That’s the frustrating part about it. We’re in games, we’re competing, and then all of a sudden we forget how to compete.”
The Wolves are fighting for a playoff spot, while the Knicks are just hoping to snap their seven-game losing streak and show some sort of team unity. Love said that facing a team like that can be dangerous and while the Wolves look like favorites on paper, they can’t underestimate the Knicks.
“They need a win just like we do,” Love said. “They have some talent on their team. ‘Melo on any given night can heat it up, (Tyson) Chandler, I’ve known him forever, he’s a competitor and those guys can heat up.”
Rubio is a fan.
“Kevin Love is playing awesome, so that helps a lot and he’s been terrific all year but lately he’s been something that nobody could imagine.”
“It’s a little bit of both,” Stoudemire said. “You want to make sure you’re doing your job and you’re coming to play, but at the same time you want to make sure the chemistry is with the team. When you’re playing well, hopefully the team will follow suit and we’ll all play well.