Streaks reaches six with 116-93 loss at Portland

Posted on November 9th, 2009 – 4:01 AM
By Jerry Zgoda

Brandon Roy only scored two points in this one, and still the Wolves never had a chance.

Trailing by nine after one quarter, by 19 just before halftime and by as many 28 in the second half, the Wolves lost their sixth straight after that comeback victory over New Jersey on opening night.

If they don’t win tonight in Oakland against Golden State — now 1-4 after Sunday’s loss at Sacramento — then when?

After the Warriors, the Wolves have Portland and Dallas at home, then play at Memphis Saturday.

OK, then Memphis then?

The most interesting development all night was, with the game getting out of hand, the time given to Nathan Jawai, who more than quadrupled his previous career highs in minutes and points with a team-high 16 points in 22:31.

All but two of those points came in the second half, and by then the game was well out of hand.

“Is it playing in a playoff game, Game 7?” Rambis asked. “Players have to get out on the floor and have the opportunity to see what works for them and what doesn’t work for them. He was doing a lot of good stuff against some very good defensive centers in this league.

“He has a very high basketball IQ. He has picked up things really, really, really quick. So we’ve been impressed with that. He’s very light on his feet. He can move. He understands the game.”

While Jawai played on, Rambis also scaled back Corey Brewer’s minutes, playing him 25:34 after he had been in the 36-39 minutes range every game except for opening night.

You also might find it interesting that the Blazers now start two point guards, Andre Miller and Steve Blake. David Kahn said his Wolves would play their two point guards together a good bit when he drafted Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn consecutively and then when he signed Ramon Sessions after Rubio decided to stay in Spain.

Flynn and Sessions played together for about four minutes in the fourth quarter tonight, and by then the Wolves trailed by 25.

Until now, Rambis said they haven’t played together much because he likes other options — Corey Brewer, Wayne Ellington among them — at that shooting guard spot.

But here’s something Rambis mentioned before the game that might be more the real reason: He says he’s trying to teach Flynn to play point guard the right way and if you put Sessions and Flynn out there together, Flynn is the more natural scorer of the two.

The implication is he doesn’t want Flynn to develop bad habits — think score first — by playing him with Sessions, although you could say he’s mostly been a scorer first (14.2 ppg average, just 22 assists now in 7 games) his assist totals (22 in 7 games) anyway while Rambis is trying to teach him how to play the point guard spot.

Al Jefferson had his first double-double of the season (12 points, 10 rebounds), but it sure looks like it’s going to take him some time to get his old game back and find his way (if he does) in this new offense.

Kevin Love sat and watched tonight in his hometown, and almost certainly will do so again when the Wolves make their second and final visit to Portland just 13 days from tonight.

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