Coming off a 58-win season and a trip to the Western Conference finals, Minnesota is off to a disappointing start at just five games over .500 with nearly a third of the season gone.
The Timberwolves have dropped five of eight, with all the wins coming at home and all the losses on the road.
All but one of those defeats came by double digits, but Minnesota has also posted double-figure victories in each of its last four home games.
The Grizzlies certainly haven’t enjoyed trips to the Target Center, going 2-16 there all-time. They’ve gone 5-10 on the road this season.
Now Memphis visits a reeling Minnesota team that may be battling selfishness, or at least that’s what reigning MVP Kevin Garnett implied following Thursday’s 100-87 loss at New York.
“We have a mindset that we’re a good team, and I just think everybody tries to go out and do it themselves instead of consolidating to everybody else,” said Garnett, averaging just 16.7 points in the last three games. “We’ve got to get on the same page, but we’ll be all right.”
At least one Minnesota player is making his unhappiness public.
Guard Troy Hudson, who averaged 14.2 points in 2002-03 and missed much of last season with ankle problems, did not play Thursday and is upset with his demotion behind Anthony Carter as the backup point guard.
“We just feel at this point I’m not being used, and I’m not being put in a position to succeed and help the team succeed,” Hudson said. “It’s frustrating when you can’t do either.”
The Grizzlies have won five of seven, including Wednesday’s 117-109 victory over Boston. They rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter by going on a 16-0 run, which included seven points from Mike Miller and six from Earl Watson.
“I haven’t seen us make a run like that this year. It was definitely an educational experience,” said coach Mike Fratello, who took over the Grizzlies on Dec. 2.
Pau Gasol had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis, which posted its highest point total of the season.