Tag:Luke Ridnour
Posted on: March 6, 2012 4:57 am

Blake Griffin gets technical; was it dirty?

Posted by Ben Golliver 

You won't see this one replayed in a goofy Kia commercial. And, hopefully, someone gets through to Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin to let him know this type of play isn't OK, it's borderline dirty.

During the fourth quarter of a tightly contested game between the Clippers and the Timberwolves at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Griffin pulled down Luke Ridnour from behind after the Minnesota guard he broke up a transition pass from Chris Paul to Griffin. 

L.A.'s All-Star forward came barrelling down the key and, after the ball was already out of bounds, pulled Ridnour back towards him by yanking on his shoulder as the two crashed into the baseline. Thankfully, Ridnour's legs somehow managed not to get caught underneath him or he could have been looking at a broken bone or ruptured ligaments. His right foot did briefly catch on the court but pulled free quickly, ensuring that he narrowly avoided what could have been an ugly knee injury.

"What is that?" the FSWolves broadcaster noted in disgust. "Ridiculous."

The Timberwolves players, to their credit, immediately appealed to the officials in Ridnour's defense. The Timberwolves fans, to their credit, immediately and loudly lit into Griffin with boos over his action. The referees, to their credit, hit Griffin with a technical foul.

Minnesota went on to win the game, 95-94. Appropriately, the winning margin was equal to Ridnour's made technical foul shot, so at least there was some justice here.

In Griffin's defense, he plays all out, all the time. He gets into more than his fair share of mix-ups and melees. He's clearly a target around the league. This one, though, was inexcusable. 

Here's the video of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin's technical foul and scary hit on Minnesota Timberwolves guard Luke Ridnour. 

Posted on: March 5, 2012 2:28 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 3:31 pm

Reports: Jamal Crawford draws trade interest

Jamal Crawford could be headed out of Portland just months after he arrived. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

The Portland Trail Blazers signed guard Jamal Crawford in December and, by NBA rules, he became trade eligible on March 1. Less than 72 hours later, the rumor mill was already swirling with talk that he could be headed out of town.

SI.com reports that Crawford is "available."
With the Blazers (18-18) underachieving and the 12-year veteran having struggled to fit in this season, sources say he's available. Crawford signed a two-year, $10 million deal on Dec. 15, but the second season is a player option and he plans to opt out this summer to retest the free agent market.

While it's not known whether the Clippers and Blazers have discussed a deal involving Crawford, a source close to him said they showed significant interest when he was a free agent but lacked the flexibility to get a deal done.
CSNNW.com reported that both the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves are "very interested" in Crawford's services, while HoopsWorld.com added three other teamsto that list. 
The Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves are pursuing him the strongest, but the Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks have also expressed interest. 
Crawford signed with the Blazers because of regional ties, a solid financial offer (a 2-year, $10 million deal with a player option), a chance to make a playoff push and the opportunity to play the clearly defined reserve scoring role in the absence of Brandon Roy, who was waived using the amnesty clause due to knee injuries.

But Portland's season hasn't played out to those expectations. At 18-19 entering Monday night action, the Blazers currently stand as one of the NBA's biggest letdowns. As recently as January, they touted themselves as contenders for the Western Conference title but currently sit outside the West's playoff picture with a daunting 7-game road trip beginning later this week.

With fellow guards Raymond Felton and Wesley Matthews struggling and lineups juggling as a result, Crawford has seen his minutes and shots vacillate, and he's also been asked to step into the starting point guard position, a role that clearly doesn't suit his well-established skillset. Given how poorly Felton has played, Blazers coach Nate McMillan likely felt like he had no choice to make the move, but Portland has lost three straight with Crawford as a starter and the team now plans to move Felton back into the starting lineup on Monday, according to The Oregonian. It's as messy as it sounds for all involved.

It get worse for Crawford, in particular, because McMillan has also moved forward Nicolas Batum into the starting 2-guard role, meaning that Crawford must compete with Batum and previous starter Wesley Matthews for minutes and touches there or continue to take on point guard duties in the reserve unit. Promising second-year two guard Elliot Williams is showing flashes that he deserves regular minutes in the rotation, too. On Portland's roster, this qualifies as a glut. Crawford made a lot of sense for a veteran team pushing for playoff success. On a middling team spinning its wheels with decisions to make at his position, he's extraneous. 

Clearly, something has to give. One way to fix the situation is to move forward Gerald Wallace, returning Batum to his natural three and restoring minutes for Crawford. Another, obviously, would be to ship out Crawford, whose contract and production make him one of Portland's best trade assets. With Matthews on a long-term deal, Williams starting to emerge and Batum figuring to command big dollars this summer, selling early on Crawford makes more sense than letting him walk in three months for nothing.

The Blazers and Timberwolves have been regular trade partners over the years, and a trade centered around a swap of Crawford for guard Luke Ridnour makes almost too much sense. Minnesota has a surplus of ones and a need for a solid two; Portland has a surplus of twos and a desperate need for a solid one.

Ridnour, a point guard by nature, has played out of position off the ball as rookie sensation Ricky Rubio has taken the Timberwolves by storm. Ridnour, 31, is on the books through 2013-2014, long after he will be useful for the Timberwolves. As of Monday, he represents a minor upgrade over Felton in terms of PER (he's ranked No. 41 in the league, Felton is No. 50). Portland has been looking for 3-point shooting from the point guard position to complement franchise forward LaMarcus Aldridge, and while Ridnour is shooting just 32.3 percent from deep this season, he's a career 35.9 percent shooter. Felton, meanwhile, is shooting just 24.6 percent from deep and averaging a full turnover more per game than Ridnour, in similar minutes.

Ridnour is a known commodity for Blazers coach Nate McMillan from their shared time in Seattle and could represent a low-risk transition from what has been a tumultuous time between Felton and McMillan in Portland. Felton is also set to be a free agent this summer and, if he's not moved by the deadline, would seem to have a murky (at best) future in Portland. Ridnour, then, would serve as a low-cost, reliable placeholder.

For Minnesota, Crawford plugs in at the team's weakest position, bringing his scoring and shot-creating ability to a team that can use it as it tries to make its first playoff push in years. He wouldn't be asked to carry the load or handle the ball all that much and he would find more room to work thanks to Rubio and All-Star forward Kevin Love. Recently, he spoke highly of Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman and his offense to the Star-Tribune. Whether Crawford decides to test free agency this summer would seem to be of little concern to Minnesota, as they are simply looking for better roster balance and the flexibility created by shedding Ridnour's future dollars.

The questions here are whether Portland can locate a better point guard option than Ridnour via trade, whether someone will offer more for Crawford prior to the deadline and whether moving Wallace instead of Crawford would bring back a significantly better package. (Wallace also holds a player option for next season.) For Crawford, moving on to a place that can offer the consistency in playing time and responsibilities that he thought he was getting when he signed up in Portland makes all the sense in the world, whether that is Minnesota or somewhere else.

Both sides have tried to make it work and so far it hasn't. The long-term prospects don't look good for a turnaround, either. That rumors popped up immediately after Crawford became trade eligible says it all.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:33 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 10:38 pm

Luke Ridnour game-winning buzzer-beater video

Posted by Ben Golliver

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Luke Ridnour hit a game-winning, buzzer-beating floater to defeat the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night at the Target Center.

With the score tied at 98 with seven seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Ridnour inbounded the ball to guard J.J. Barea, who eventually worked it back to Ridnour. Receiving the pass with only a few seconds left on the clock, Ridnour attacked the paint and lofted a right-handed floater over Jazz big man Al Jefferson.

The shot provided the winning margin, 100-98, and sent the Timberwolves bench into hysterics. Ridnour was mobbed by his teammates, including forward Anthony Tolliver, who lifted him into the air. Ridnour finished with 17 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds on the night. The win improved Minnesota's record to 17-17 entering the All-Star break.

Here's the video of Minnesota Timberwolves guard Luke Ridnour hitting a game-winning floater at the buzzer to defeat the Utah Jazz. 

Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:38 pm

Why isn't Ricky Rubio starting?

Posted by Royce Young

So Ricky Rubio is living up the the hype he carried around with him before the draft in 2009. He's a passing savant, a true genius with the ball in his hands. He sees the floor like he uses a superpower to pick out a cutting teammate. He puts passes right on the money, finds space and even has shown a little more offense than expected.

And yet, he still finds himself behind Luke Ridnour on the depth chart. Understandable. We're only nine games into the season and there was no telling that Rubio would be this NBA ready. You didn't want to just throw him to the wolves (get it? you get it) and let him learn on the fly. Minnesota wanted to develop him, make sure the game wasn't too fast for him and bring him along slowly. No need to rush.

But, then again, Rubio has been, well, awesome. And while yes, it's just nine games, those nine games haven proven that a) Ricky Rubio is better than Luke Ridnour and b) Rubio is obviously the point guard of the future for the team. So considering those two factors and also that the Wolves aren't risking a playoff spot by handing the keys entirely to Rubio, it's time to start asking: Why is he not starting?

Probably because his defense is still bad, right? I mean, that's what pretty much everyone wanted to fall back on while critiquing the young Spaniard. Sure he's flashy, but NBA point guards will tear him apart.

So, have they? Through the Wolves nine games, Rubio has taken on opposing point guards like Russell Westbrook, Brandon Jennings, Tony Parker, Kyrie Irving and John Wall and has a matchup with MVP Derrick Rose Tuesday night. A pretty good batch of talent to measure himself against. Granted, Luke Ridnour is technically the starter and Rubio gets quite a bit of second quarter minutes when a second unit is on the floor, but note that Rubio has played virtually every entire fourth quarter, which means he has seen probably more time on the opposite starting point than Ridnour.

How'd he do? Westbrook scored 28 on 10-21 shooting but turned it over seven times. Jennings went for 24 and seven assists. Parker had just 11 points on 3-11 shooting. Irving scored 14 on 12 shots and had seven turns. And Wall was just 3-10 from the floor with four turnovers.

The lesson: Rubio isn't getting dominated by any stretch. He's holding his own, and in some cases, playing pretty good defense. For instance, in Minnesota's opener against the Thunder, Rubio did a great job staying in front of an attacking Westbrook, taking a critical charge late in the fourth quarter. He moved his feet, kept position and didn't reach. He leads the Wolves in steals with 1.3 a game (15 in the league among point guards) and has shown excellent passing lane instincts. You can be a great player without playing great defense. Steve Nash has always been a pretty mild defender, but does a serviceable enough job to not make it a glaring issue. And that's what Rubio's doing. He's not going to be a stopper by any means, but he's not getting abused.

And when you can make plays on the other end, it often doesn't matter either way. Rubio changes the way the Wolves play. Their best lineup in terms of plus-minus includes him, and it's not close.

Now, Rick Adelman knows basketball and his team a whole lot better than I do. He knows what he's doing. But you can be sure he's trying to figure out when the right time to make the transition is. Maybe it's that David Kahn wants to build up Ridnour's trade value and then deal the veteran to make a natural hole for Rubio. Maybe the idea is since Derrick Williams can't start because Michael Beasley (or Wayne Ellington) is in front of him that it's better to keep Rubio and Williams playing together in the second unit because that's the future of the Wolves. Maybe it's just because Adelman doesn't see Rubio as ready.

But if that last one was the case, Rubio wouldn't have played every single minute of every single fourth quarter so far this season. He hasn't come out those last 12 minutes yet. Adelman clearly trusts him with crunch-time and clearly thinks he can handle those important minutes. Adelman likes to use Ridnour and Rubio together a lot in the fourth, but the point is, Rubio is getting starter minutes for the most part, especially in terms of the quality of the minutes. So he's getting the necessary experience.

It's clear though that the future of the Wolves rests in Rubio's hands as their starting point guard. He wasn't drafted and didn't finally come over from Spain to back up Luke Ridnour. It's about timing. It might happen after the All-Star break or trade deadline or it might not happen until next season.

Point is, Rubio's ready for it. Why delay it? He's proven he can handle the responsibility of driving the Wolves car, he can defend well enough and is the future. It's not a question of if he'll ever start, it's just a matter of when, and how soon.
Posted on: December 31, 2011 2:00 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2011 2:03 pm

Wolves G Lee out 6 weeks after knee surgery

Posted by Ben Gollivermalcolm-lee

One Minnesota Timberwolves rookie guard -- Ricky Rubio -- has gone about lighting up the league. Another is headed for a month and a half of street clothes and rehabilitation.

StarTribune.com reportsthat Timberwolves rookie guard Malcolm Lee had surgery on his left knee and could be sidelined for six weeks.
Wolves rookie guard Malcolm Lee underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus ligament in his left knee Friday and could miss as much as six weeks. His knee grew sore as training camp progressed. He has surgery to repair the meniscus on the same knee after the college season last March, but this surgery is not related to that one, the team said.

"It's unfortunate for him, but better to get it fixed than wait," coach Rick Adelman said. "He had played very well. We were very pleased with him. We would not have hesitated to play him."

Lee, 21, is a favorite of Timberwolves management and was a target during the 2011 NBA Draft. Minnesota acquired Lee, a UCLA product, in a draft day trade with the Chicago Bulls, who selected him in the second round with the No. 43 pick overall.

With guard Martell Webster out indefinitely because of a recurring back injury, there are some minutes available for Lee, who provides a bigger backcourt option than Rubio or free agent acquisition J.J. Barea. Starting point guard (for now) Luke Ridnour, Rubio, forward Wesley Johnson and guard Wayne Ellington will complete the backcourt rotation until Lee's return.
Posted on: June 1, 2011 10:57 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 6:44 am

Reports: Ricky Rubio agrees to join Timberwolves

Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio reportedly has agreed to join the Minnesota Timberwolves. Posted by Ben Golliver. ricky-rubio

Is the long wait for Ricky Rubio finally over?

A person who requested anonymity and  with knowledge of the agreement confirmed to the Associated Press on Wednesday that the Spanish point guard will play in the NBA next season.

KFAN reported Wednesday night that the Timberwolves "have secured deal with Ricky Rubio to join team next season."

Yahoo! Sports reported soon after that Rubio has reached an agreement to join the Timberwolves, although the site noted that it's possible he did not yet sign a contract.
Ricky Rubio has reached an agreement with Minnesota to join the Timberwolves next season. There was a Tuesday deadline to sign under rookie scale of current CBA, and no announcement's expected until after Rubio's Euro playoffs end.

It's unclear whether Rubio signed agreement on Tuesday, or merely promised to exercise his Spanish buyout on July 1 and then sign with Minnesota.
The Associated Press confirmed the agreement.
A person with knowledge of the agreement confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Spanish point guard will play in the NBA next season. The person requested anonymity because Rubio is still playing for his team in the Euroleague playoffs.
CBSSports.com's Ken Berger also confirmed the report and noted that "Rubio agreed to a $1.2 million buyout with FC Barcelona, $500,000 of which is paid by Minnesota under NBA rules." He points out that Rubio's agreement "met NBA operational deadline to fall under current rookie scale."

Berger also notes that the news is going over big in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Rubio signing is a "huge shot in the arm," a source tells him.

The Star-Tribune reported that the agreement is "signed, a done deal to meet the current CBA deadline. Not an agreement to sign later" and that Rubio "will be introduced at a Timberwolves news conference after the Spanish league finals end later this month."

Finally, SI.com reported: "If there is a prolonged lockout, it's likely Rubio will continue to play for Barcelona, a plan the Timberwolves have endorsed."

Rubio's journey to Minnesota has been a long one. The team has worked for nearly two years to convince him to leave FC Barcelona to join the Timberwolves. Rubio's age, a hefty buyout on his contract and Minnesota's status as an NBA backwater and also-ran are thought to have been factors delaying his decision to come to the States. Timberwolves president David Kahn has taken enormous flak for his decision to draft Rubio given the player's initial reluctance to come to the NBA.

Still just 20 years old, Rubio brings loads of potential to the table, despite the fact that he's had a somewhat disappointing season. Rubio has elite passing instincts and ball-handling ability and has logged minutes for the Spanish National Team, including during the 2008 Olympics.  During the 2010-2011 season, Rubio has averaged 5.3 points and 4.4 assists in 23 minutes per game during ACB league play, Spain's top division. 

Assuming an agreement is completed and that he's not traded, Rubio pencils in as Minnesota's starting point guard next season. Minnesota has two other point guards on the roster for next season: veteran Luke Ridnour and third year player Jonny Flynn. Drafted one spot behind Rubio in 2009, Flynn has struggled with injury and grasping coach Kurt Rambis' triangle offense and has failed to materialize as a franchise point guard. Ridnour is a very capable back-up guard.
Posted on: March 20, 2011 6:54 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 6:56 pm

Video: DeMarcus Cousins ejected after shoving

Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins was ejected after a shoving match with members of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Water is wet, the sky is blue and Sacramento Kings rookie big man DeMarcus Cousins can't control his emotions. 

Cousins' latest display of immaturity came on Sunday in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. With the Kings leading 77-62 near the end of the third quarter, Cousins couldn't keep his cool after being pushed by pesky Timberwolves point guard Luke Ridnour

Standing off the ball, Cousins took a two-arms shoved from Ridnour. The foul was obvious, completely unnecessary and immediately whistled. Cousins, however, couldn't let it go at that, stomping towards Ridnour and bumping bodies while the two jawed. Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic intervened, lightly restraining Cousins, which led the Sacramento big man to shove out with both of his arms, an act that Pekovic reciprocated.  

But, wait, there's more. Timberwolves guard Martell Webster then attempted to play peacemaker, putting his left arm into Cousins' chest, an act that again led Cousins to shove Webster away with both of his arms, tossing Webster into teammate Jason Thompson. At that point, Cousins was immediately booted from the game by multiple officials.

Here's a look at the sequence courtesy of YouTube user Kingsflix.

Cousins and Kings fans will likely feel as if he got the raw end of this deal given that his actions were mostly in response or retaliation to Minnesota's actions, but at some point he will need to come to terms with the fact that his size and track record make him an easy mark for officials. 

So, Luke Ridnour shoved you. Who cares? Set up the side out of bounds play and nail him with a good, solid pick. Cousins stepped to Ridnour with something to prove, but he only proved how easily he is mentally manipulated.

The Kings held on for the victory over the Timberwolves, 127-95.
Posted on: December 30, 2010 10:53 am

Wolves are eyeing Randolph; Knicks want Ridnour?

Posted by Royce Young

The Knicks have been hunting for a backup point guard for some time now. And as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com wrote yesterday, a candidate for some time has been Sebastian Telfair. The Wolves are said to want Anthony Randolph back in the deal who has been sitting for the most part on the end of the bench in New York.

Except it looks like the Knicks are more interested in the player Minnesota isn't that comfortable giving up. As Berger wrote yesterday, Luke Ridnour is off the table in trade talks with New York, but a report from Newsday says that the Knicks would consider moving Randolph if the deal included Ridnour, or a draft pick instead of Telfair.

What, Bassy Telfair ain't good enough for you, Donnie Walsh?

But you can certainly see New York's side of this. Randolph is a talent. No matter what he's done so far, the dude's talented. And as badly as the Knicks want a backup point guard for Raymond Felton, they aren't ready to just settle on Telfair for Randolph. The Wolves have stockpiled a good number of draft picks over the past year or so, so maybe this is where Walsh says he can get that first-round pick from. And as any good general manager should, he has his eye on the better player in Ridnour, instead of Telfair.

Telfair has played a decent amount so far this season, appearing in 25 games and averaging just over 20 minutes. But the reason he's seen even that much playing time is because Jonny Flynn has been out with the hip issue. Now that Flynn is on his way back, Telfair is going to find the end of the bench a bit more.

Ridnour has played a bit more of a central role, starting in 25 of the 28 games for the Wolves. He's having a very Ridnour-like season, averaging over 11 points and five assists. He's always been a poor man's Steve Nash so Mike D'Anonti probably would love to get him into New York's system.

This is just another one of those crossroads for David Kahn. Telfair is obviously the player he'd rather deal, considering Ridnour was a free agent signed in the offseason. And is Randolph worth that and a pick? Maybe. The thing Kahn has to consider is that including Ricky Rubio, he's got like 18 point guards under contract right now. All of them can't play at once.

But maybe this is an opportunity for Minnesota to add more straight talent. The Wolves acquired another gifted lefty in Michael Beasley for a measley second-round pick but it's going to take more from New York because the Knicks aren't trying to dump anything and everything like the Heat.

Again, Berger said right now, Ridnour is off the table. But at some point, Kahn might have to reconsider.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com