Injury-plagued Wolves try to hold things together

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm •  Published: January 18, 2013
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Rubio, who made his first start of the season on Thursday night but still is not the dynamic player he was before injuring his left knee last March, is pressing his team not to give in to the injury excuse. He is frustrated with his own gradual recovery.

"I mean, I'm not going to hide. It's tough when you're playing, and there's no more bodies over there," Rubio said. "You have to remain doing new things every single game, and we can't get the rhythm. But that's no excuse. We are professionals. I think that players that are healthy have to step up and start doing a better job."

Fans seem to be wearing down as well. Considerable buzz surrounded the long-suffering franchise before the season began, with most expecting the team's first playoff appearance since 2004. Then Love broke his hand for the first time before the season started, Roy's chronic knee issues returned and Rubio has taken longer to shake the rust off from a nine-month hiatus than those fans had hoped.

It was a sullen crowd at Target Center on Thursday night for a nationally televised game against a high-profile opponent, and the Timberwolves followed suit with a lifeless performance born of sheer exhaustion.

"Yeah it's a domino effect," forward Derrick Williams said. "I've never seen anything like it. We've just got to work through it, man."

Kahn said he is having discussions with other teams about more significant trades to really give the team a jolt. But the Feb. 21 trade deadline is still more than a month away, and few teams throughout the league are motivated to pull the trigger on significant roster moves this early.

That means if the Wolves are going to get things turned around in the short term, the players currently on this roster are likely going to have to be the ones to do it.

"Sometimes when you start seeing injury after injury, there's a point there where you say, okay, how are we going to keep this together?" Porter said. "We have to believe that we have enough, that we do have enough to win games."

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