The Timberwolves are in one of their worst slumps — losing seven of their past eight after Wednesday loss to Orlando at Target Center — since they started becoming a perennial playoff team, and this poor performance has not made Kevin McHale happy.
“It’s hard to be patient, but you have to be,” said the Wolves’ vice president of basketball operations. “You’ve got to work your way through it. Right now, we’re not playing very good. I’ve said it a million times, but I’ll say it again: You dig holes in the NBA over time and you crawl out in the same amount of time. You don’t dig a hole overnight, you don’t crawl out overnight. You’ve got to keep working; you’ve just got to keep working.”
There isn’t any doubt that McHale (above) has been on the phone trying to find out the interest of other teams, also in trouble, in making a trade. The Wolves would love to put Nets All-Star point guard Jason Kidd in a Minnesota uniform.
“I’ll make the right trade,” McHale said. “I ask myself, ‘Would I make this trade if we won eight in a row? Or would I make this trade if we lost eight in a row?’ If the answer is, if you say you’ll make the trade when you have won eight in a row, I make the trade. If you say you’ll make the trade when you’ve lost eight in a row, it’s a bad time to make the trade.
“If you add another player, any different players, to a team that is really dysfunctional and not playing well, it’s not going to make that big of a difference.”
Troy Hudson, Michael Olowokandi and Sam Cassell all had off-season surgery, and you wonder if that is having something to do with the poor play of all three lately.
McHale says no.
“They’ve got to get themselves going and play a little better, but it’s a team thing,” he said. “We have to look at ourselves, though. You can mention a lot of weird stuff all over, but we’re not moving the ball enough on our offensive end. So we have to do better at that. We’ve got to clog the paint more on the defensive end. We’ve got to do a better job at that.”
It was pointed out teams seem to be roughing up Kevin Garnett and defending him a lot tougher this season.
“They’re going after him a little bit, which just means we’ve got to get better spacing and move the ball more and try to counteract that with our ball movement and shooting,” McHale said.
McHale is frustrated, but there’s no doubt that Garnett is just as frustrated, if not more.