MINNEAPOLIS There he was, hunched over his little table in the corner of a gym in downtown Minneapolis, shuffling his papers and making his notes and happy to have 12 players practicing. Happy, you'd think, to even be sitting there at all.
He looked older than he had just 15 months before, when he took the Timberwolves gig, his fifth stint as an NBA head coach. His beard a little grayer, brow tilted just so as to be more furrowed, more worried, Rick Adelman stood and then talked, the tired coach of a team about to finish its second straight season under him with a losing record.
It was March 20, and just two nights before, the Heat had surged to their 23rd consecutive win with a comeback victory over the Celtics. They'd assumed sole possession of second place on the list of longest winning streaks, surpassing the 2007-08 Rockets' 22-game stretch.
The conversation with Adelman veered in that direction, but not to so much to extoll the Heat as to consult the man who'd just been ec...