MINNEAPOLIS A trick of the schedule, and they're all thinking back to last season.
Last season, just as this one, the final game before the All-Star break ended with the Jazz. It ended with a close game, a floater from Luke Ridnour to win the thing, 100-98, and to push the Timberwolves to .500.
Consider that moment, for a second, rather than the spring collapse that obscured it. Derrick Williams remembers it, remembers Feb. 22, 2012. He talked about the game Wednesday morning, about how well the team was playing that night, about its hope for the playoffs before the words ACL and Ricky Rubio had anything to do with one another. And he's right. The Timberwolves were good that night, and for several weeks after. They had earned their playoff hopes, no matter that we've all now forgotten they ever existed.
This year, though, Minnesota didn't have what it took to coast into All-Star weekend with two consecutive wins. It fell four points short, losing 97-93 to Utah, with a deep sense...