Veteran guard Austin Rivers has performed on dangerous groups earlier than.
“So I do know what that appears like,” he mentioned.
And he would not imagine this Timberwolves staff falls into that class.
“I do not see that right here. I simply do not see it. I do not see this getting worse. I am simply not,” Rivers mentioned. “It is arduous for me to see with the expertise that we’ve got right here, the competitiveness that we’ve got right here, I do not see this getting worse. I actually do not. We’ll be tremendous.”
That was Rivers’ miserable sentiment at his media availability Monday morning, hours earlier than Minnesota’s recreation in opposition to Denver. Sure, Rivers famous, there was palpable frustration with the staff after the Timberwolves’ loss to basement-dwelling Detroit on Saturday. Minnesota’s sixth straight loss. Rivers famous that when it rains, it pours.
“However perspective is the whole lot. I believe the primary factor for us now’s to maintain perspective. Issues might simply have been completely different within the final six video games. We might have gained three of these video games. The Miami recreation, the New Orleans recreation, even the Boston recreation, we have been a bit late in that recreation. That is simply the way it works,” Rivers mentioned. “However proper now, generally within the league when issues aren’t proper, it simply begins to spill out and it’s extremely simple to let the negativity begin to creep in. All people has this of their ears the place they go dwelling and everyone. has the answer, everybody has an opinion, everyone seems to be the neatest participant on the planet. That type of stuff cannot creep. It’s important to hold going.”
Minnesota held a locker room assembly proper after the Detroit loss. The Wolves most likely shared the identical sentiments that have been expressed publicly; effort and efficiency should turn into higher. Rivers mentioned Minnesota has had sufficient staff conferences, participant conferences and movies. In some unspecified time in the future, actions have to talk.
“This isn’t rocket science. It is basketball. We now have professionals right here. We have talked sufficient, you understand what I imply. It is only a matter of getting on the market, doing it as an alternative of claiming it,” Rivers mentioned. “The third quarter has been our factor this 12 months, the place we’ll be up till 10 or 11 and issues change a bit bit. So we must always simply clear up stuff like that. Gotta go win, man. Convey again the morale, the spirit right here. We now have right here. Everybody enjoys working with one another. Everybody’s buddies. We now have greater than sufficient on our checklist. That is not the issue, our checklist. It is about us coming collectively and beginning to rack up wins collectively.”
It is that camaraderie that retains Rivers believing on this staff. Minnesota, he famous, is just some video games out of the playoffs and nonetheless inside hanging distance of a top-six end within the West. Rivers mentioned the Wolves are only one massive win away from turning the tide and altering the power.
“That is the staff we’ve got right here the place if we have misplaced six in a row, you may win eight in a row or win 5 in a row,” Rivers mentioned. “We now have 47 video games left within the season, 4 or 5 video games away from fifth or sixth place. However that does not go away room for this margin to widen. It will not at all times be like that. So these subsequent 10, 20 video games are essential for us.”
However Minnesota needs to be cautious to not put additional stress on their shoulders, which can trigger the staff to tighten up, as has usually occurred when opponents Austin Riversmake within the second half of video games.
“Everybody desires to win. Everybody desires to win proper now. We’re attempting to get this monkey off our again,” Rivers mentioned. “We now have a great staff, the whole lot can be tremendous.”