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  • 16 May
    导出博客文章MINNEAPOLIS -- With a roster full of some of the best young talent in the league
    and a new, playoff-tested coach to lead them, the Minnesota Timberwolves entered
    this season as a trendy pick to finally end a 12-year postseason drought.Ten
    games into this still-young season, Tom Thibodeau finally erupted after watching
    his team give away yet another double-digit lead in a loss to the Charlotte
    Hornets that dropped them to 3-7.Its not that the Timberwolves are losing games
    this season that has angered him. Its how they are losing them, with the same
    mistakes occurring over and over again, particularly during the third quarter of
    nearly every game.A big part of learning is trial and error. So when you go
    through something and it doesnt work, you should learn from it, Thibodeau said
    after a 115-108 loss to the Hornets on Tuesday. The second time around, it
    shouldnt be the same way. That has to change and it has to change fast.The
    Timberwolves have been one of the best offensive teams in the league this
    season, with Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine all showing
    skills that have fans cautiously hopeful that the franchise is finally ready to
    return to relevancy.But they have been a disaster on defense and atrocious after
    halftime. They have been outscored by 91 points in their 10 third quarters this
    season, by far the worst margin in the league. Only one game this season have
    they outscored their opponent in that period -- a 36-point win over Memphis in
    which the Grizzlies were resting stars Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.The
    devastating ball movement that leads to wide open shots disappears, too.
    Thibodeau said his players start holding and dancing with the ball, which bogs
    down the flow. Contested jumpers lead to missed shots, which open up transition
    opportunities for their opponents.The defense at the rim and on the perimeter is
    nonexistent. Layups, dunks and 3-pointers rain down on their heads as they
    scramble to get things under control. Wash, rinse, repeat.Were playing really
    well and it just turns and ruins the whole game, LaVine said Wednesday. It ruins
    all our spirits. Going into the next game, you feel like youve got it figured
    out. Were up 15, 12 points and were going good and its a nosedive.The results
    are familiar to fans. Target Center announced just 10,349 fans for the game
    against the Hornets on Tuesday. Average attendance during the five homes games
    is just over 13,000 per game in a building that holds close to 20,000, certainly
    not what the organization expected in the highly anticipated run-up to the
    season.There are only so many promotions, so many giveaways, so many marketing
    tools the business side can use to sell tickets and spur interest. With a team
    that has been bad for this long, the fans are going to make them prove that
    things are different before they start investing.This is the best team Ive ever
    been around, said point guard Ricky Rubio, in his sixth season with the Wolves.
    I get mad thinking that were wasting time. Were not learning. Its time to
    change.The Wolves do have things to comfort them. They are the best team in the
    league in point differential in the first quarter, first in 3-point shooting
    percentage and fourth in offensive efficiency. Thibodeau is considered a
    defensive mastermind, so it could just be a matter of time before his new
    charges start to execute his system the way he wants to see it done.But if they
    do want to make the playoffs and end that interminable drought, they know they
    have to get going soon.There is no easy way out. Its work, Thibodeau said. Were
    more than capable of doing it. We just have to get it done.---This story has
    been corrected to show third quarter combined deficit is 91 points.
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    . Mitch Holmberg added a goal and three assists. Connor Chartier
    also scored for the Chiefs (3-0-0). Luke Harrison spoiled Garrett Hughsons
    shutout bid with a power-play goal at 13:17 of the third period. The Spokane
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    Hamelin, who triumphed in the 500 on Saturday, edged out Victor An of Russia by
    0.021 seconds to maintain his lead in the World Cup standings. Russias Vladimir
    Grigorev was third. In the relay, Canada took control six laps from the finish
    line to beat Russia and the Netherlands. If you told Hurricanes loosehead Loni
    Uhila hed be a Super Rugby champion 12 months ago, he wouldve punched you in the
    face.Yet the 122kg props journey from a Tongan village to the pinnacle of club
    rugby reached its zenith on Saturday with his sides 20-3 victory over the
    Lions.The 27-year-old went pro for the Hurricanes at the start of 2016 after
    toiling away in the Mitre 10 Cup for Waikato.Uhila told NZN he juggled rugby
    training, boxing, family life and work at a warehouse on his steady climb to the
    top.Id still be at work at Prolife Foods and unloading containers and coming
    home excited to watch the final, he said when asked where he was this time last
    year.To make it this far in such a small amount of time is special and a
    blessing for me and my family.Uhila was thrust into the Hurricanes starting
    line-up for the sides quarterfinal thumping of the Sharks after Reggie Goodes
    concussion in the previous week.The Tongan Bear has sinnce proved his worth in
    the No.dddddddddddd.1 jersey through hard running, tackling and solid work in
    the scrum.Alongside his teammates, Uhila managed to keep the Hurricanes
    opposition tryless in all three Super Rugby 2016 finals matches.But he said the
    grand final was the toughest match of all.We all know the South African sides
    love their forwards and their set pieces and stuff like that, it was pretty
    tough and grinding, Uhila said.I was a bit beaten up last night and a little
    sore this morning.Uhila hopes his late-season Hurricanes form can attract the
    interest of Tonga selectors and help fulfil his dream of playing for the `Ikale
    Tahi in a Rugby World Cup.But in the meantime hell be returning to the Mitre 10
    Cup with Waikato.Wherever rugby will take me, Ill grab it and give it 110 per
    cent, he said. ' ' '