Timberwolves Notes: Prince, McDaniels, Vanderbilt, Beasley

After spending some time out of the Timberwolves‘ rotation, Taurean Prince delivered his best game of the season on Thursday with 13 points and three rebounds in 15 minutes, writes Chris Hine of The Star-Tribune.

Prince, who was acquired from the Cavaliers in an offseason trade, has been putting up the worst numbers of his career since coming to Minnesota. He’s been particularly bad as a three-point shooter, connecting at just 19% before Thursday’s game. After sinking three of his five shots from long distance vs. San Antonio, Prince hopes the worst is over.

“Maybe a couple years ago I would’ve felt some type of way or acted a certain way,” he said of the reduced playing time. “But now I’m to the point where I just want to hoop. I’m with a great organization. We got something going here. … For me to feel any type of way about playing time right now would be — it’d be a little bit selfish on my behalf. Just try to stick together, see it all through and things will come together.”

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • Jaden McDaniels has struggled with foul trouble in his second NBA season, but apart from that he has been tremendous on defense, Hine adds in the same story. Coach Chris Finch rates him as an “A or A-minus” defender and says opponents are starting to take notice. “Every game pretty much we have some opponent coming over saying to our bench he can really guard,” Finch said. “(Suns guard) Chris Paul said it the other day: ‘Who is this guy? He can really guard.'”
  • Since moving into the starting lineup five games ago, Jarred Vanderbilt has provided an edge to the first unit, notes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota doesn’t have a traditional power forward, so the undersized Vanderbilt tries to fill the role by outworking opponents. “Very aware, very self-aware. Mature,” Finch said of Vanderbilt. “Understands who he is as a basketball player. That’s 90% of the battle of getting better in this league.”
  • Malik Beasley‘s shot has been off this season, but he has been able to hold onto his rotation spot by improving on defense, Krawczynski adds. Beasley credits studying film with helping him to better understand what opposing players are trying to do.
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