MMPG: Team of the Weak
Golden State and Sacramento have been on longer losing streaks, but the Minnesota Timberwolves seemed to stop trying last week. How else do you explain a 23-point home loss to a Clippers team that came to town with just three wins? It wouldn't have been so bad if the Timberwolves hadn't loss to New Jersey by 29 points the night before.
After the loss to the Clippers, Al Jefferson said "Jesus Christ himself come and coach us, but if we don't go out there and play hard and play together, it won't mean nothing." I don't know if Reverend Al had to go there, but now the job belongs to Kevin McHale after Randy Wittman was fired on Monday.
McHale, the Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations, hired Wittman to replace Dwane Casey in January 2007. Casey was canned because that team was supposedly "underachieving" - at least, in McHale's foggy view - at 20-20. Wittman led the Timberwolves to 38 wins - and 105 losses.
Where does that rank on the "underachieving" scale?
Overall, Minnesota (4-15) has lost five in a row, with the past four decided by double-figures. The Timberwolves also lost second-year guard Corey Brewer for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Mike Miller, whom Minnesota acquired in a draft day swap of O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love, is out with an ankle injury.
McHale took over the coaching duties after he fired Flip Saunders in 2005, and the Timberwolves finished the regular season 19-12, barely missing out on the playoffs. Life after Kevin Garnett was bound to be difficult, but at what point does McHale step aside and led somebody else direct this franchise in a new direction?
As a coach, McHale is staring down a rough road. Minnesota's next eight games before Christmas are against Utah, Denver, San Antonio (twice), the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland, Houston and, uh, Sacramento - where Coach Randy Theus is on the hot seat.
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