It might be a fresh start for the Minnesota Timberwolves

The Times' Mark Heisler goes coast to coast in the NBA.

November 20, 2010

Is it the end or a new beginning?

It's all over — oh, right, it never began — in Minnesota, where reviled General Manager David Kahn gave away Al Jefferson, whereupon Coach Kurt Rambis began yo-yoing Kevin Love....

Or it's just starting, one or the other.

Love played long enough to average 21 points and 17 rebounds over six games, including his 31-31 against the Knicks, before Friday's 0-7 against the Lakers.

Meanwhile Michael Beasley, stolen from Miami for two No. 2 picks, averaged 31 points.

With highly regarded prospects Wes Johnson and Jonny Flynn, better times may lie ahead.

"I looked out on the court at one time and we had how many guys from the '07 high school class?" said Love after beating the Clippers.

"The average age out there must have been 22."

At $20 million,no free Darko

Rambis' problem is Love's defense.

Love's problem is being 6-7 3/4 with a standing reach of 8-10. Trevor Ariza has a standing reach of 8-11 1/2.

Unfortunately, Darko Milicic, the big center Love needs, turned back into a pumpkin after last spring's comeback/salary drive got him a $20-million deal.

Fearing Milicic would curl up in a ball at harsh words, team officials insisted he just needed confidence.

Proving anything really is possible, Darko just got 47 points and 31 rebounds in three games.

Love got the tough love with Rambis, noting after he got 23-24 in their first Laker game:

"I learned when he works hard, he's a good player."

Of course, at 13.8 rebounds a game, Love takes one every 2.3 minutes.

No one in human history has taken one every two minutes since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968-69.

In other life forms …

Dennis Rodman did average a rebound every 1.9 minutes, between suspensions, in his 49-game 1994-95 season in San Antonio.

Of course, as Linda Fiorentino says in "Men in Black" after being told Rodman is an alien:

"Not much of a disguise."

The Heat index:Glaciers recede

The Heat went 3-0 as Chris Bosh broke out with 35 points — if only against Phoenix's smurfs, while taking six rebounds, matching his average.

Kobe Bryant averages 6.2.

Happily, ESPN's Brian Windhorst notes LeBron James and Bosh are learning to play pick-and-roll.

Unhappily, Windhorst says Bron and Dwyane Wade mostly take turns dominating the ball. The other "sort of stands and watches."

Happily, ESPN's John Hollinger's Power Ratings have Miami back at No. 1!

You could look it up.

Coast 2 coast

We'll have cake: Despite Commissioner David Stern's projected $370-million loss,'s Ken Berger wrote new NBA numbers project a $120-million revenue jump.... "League negotiators" told Berger the owners' share — $52 million — is offset by $20 million for "staff, marketing, sponsorship activation [editors note: whatever that is] so they actually wind up with only $32 million."... Actually, that $20 million is committed in any case, but if $32 million is so paltry, how about giving it to the U.S. to fix a bridge or two?

Suggesting he knows Bosh is just Bosh, James said he runs the offense, Wade scores and "CB, when he's aggressive, that's good."... With Beasley scoring 33 and hitting the game-winning shot — against single coverage — Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler mused, "How many No. 2 picks would you give for Beasley?"... How about all of them until the end of time?

— Mark Heisler

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