Northwest Notes: McDaniels, Timberwolves, Brown, Jokic

Timberwolves power forward Jaden McDaniels gets his offense by being in the right space in the right time. A high-scoring night for McDaniels is usually indicative of good ball movement from his Minnesota teammates, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.

“He’s a really good cutter,” head coach Chris Finch said. “Our offense relies on cutting a lot, and a lot of guys don’t have a great feel for that or are reluctant to cut, because they’re way more ball-dominant, but he’s such a good cutter, and the ball has to be moving in different spots that allows those cuts to open up to be there… He’s going to be the beneficiary of good offense, good flow.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • The Timberwolves are emphasizing a motion-heavy offense this season, per Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune. All-Star center Rudy Gobert is excited to be sharing the floor, and the rock, with fellow All-Star teammate Karl-Anthony Towns. “I think this is where we can really punish teams,” Gobert said of Towns. “It’s really important that we keep working on it. The fact that he can pass and he’s willing to pass has made him even more of a threat.” 
  • New Nuggets shooting guard Bruce Brown has a fan in head coach Michael Malone, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link). “I’m so thankful that we were able to sign Bruce Brown in free agency,” Malone told reporters after Wednesday’s win.
  • Sean Keeler of The Denver Post writes that Brown, known primarily as an unorthodox roll man and defender during his time with the Nets, is looking more multifaceted in Denver, thanks to a solid shooting start. “[His] shooting, in Brooklyn, he really wasn’t known for it because of the way he had to play,” Nuggets power forward Jeff Green said. “He had to sacrifice a lot (there). So I think now, people are going have to respect what he can bring to the table.” The 6’5″ vet did connect on 40.4% of his three-pointers during his 2021/22 season with Brooklyn, albeit on a fairly low-volume 1.3 attempts a night. Thus far with Denver, Brown is shooting 50% on his 3.2 looks from long range.
  • Though Nuggets All-NBA center Nikola Jokic is not an elite rim protector, his court sense on defense allows him to remain underrated on that side of the floor, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post in a new mailbag. Singer also discusses the team’s apparent plan to employ a switch-heavy defense for every position beyond Jokic, the three-point shooting prowess of Michael Porter Jr., and Denver’s road-heavy early season schedule.
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