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"Hopefully with that change we can rejuvenate, we can win some basketball games and we can take everything that coach Wittman taught us and apply it. And we can take something new from Kevin McHale and apply that."
McHale has done this before. He went 19-12 in the final 31 games of the 2004-05 season after Flip Saunders was fired.
"Last time I knew I was going to do it for the short term," McHale said. "This time I'm doing it for the long term. That's just the way it is."
It was an attention-grabbing maneuver for a team that appeared to be tuning Wittman out during this losing streak where the average margin of defeat was nearly 17 points.
Despite Wittman's emphasis on defense throughout training camp, the Wolves have allowed at least 100 points in seven straight games. Whatever the coach was trying to teach, it either wasn't working or wasn't sinking in.
"Players cannot play when they're confused," McHale said. "You want to see a disaster, go see a bunch of confused players playing basketball."
It's been one disaster after another on the court of late.
"You look at the games, look at the scores of these games and you can just tell by that, that something was wrong," forward Ryan Gomes said.
Five of the team's first eight losses were by six points or less, which McHale said "tore their hearts out a little bit and they just fell into a little malaise."
McHale prefers a more freewheeling, matchup-oriented system. If it doesn't work, he has only himself to blame after hand-picking the roster through trades, free agency and the draft.
"If this doesn't work, it'll be on me," McHale said. "The thing I told Glen is that nothing changes with the plan. The plan stays the same. We have a lot of cap room in the future. We have multiple (draft) picks. Nothing's going to change. The only change is that I'm going to spending all my time coaching."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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