Timberwolves center Naz Reid is adjusting to life backing up Minnesota’s All-NBA frontcourt of Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. That has meant playing power forward in addition to center.
“Guarding different players and position,” Reid said of the change. “It’s very different actually.”
With Towns sidelined indefinitely due to a right calf injury, the 6’9″ Reid will get additional rotation minutes as a reserve. He should see more time at the five rather than the four until Towns is back.
“I wouldn’t say I can’t play the four… it’s a big role I’m going to be in within the next couple weeks,” Reid said. “I’m excited to be in that role and excited to help our team.”
The fourth-year big man out of LSU is averaging 7.8 PPG on 52.8% shooting from the floor, along with 3.7 RPG and 0.9 BPG, across just 14.3 MPG.
There’s more out of Minnesota:
- Two-way Timberwolves big man Luka Garza has recently shown out in his play for the team’s NBAGL affiliate, the Iowa Wolves. Hines wonders in another piece if the 6’11” center/forward can become a part of Minnesota’s future. Garza’s 29.8 PPG, on 62.8% shooting, leads the entire NBA G League, and he has also put up 9.2 RPG and 3.2 APG. “I love this system that we play with here,” Garza said of the coordinated approach of both the Iowa and Minnesota franchises. “We play a lot through the bigs, Karl and Rudy. It’s very evident and it’s kind of the same thing with me down there. We’re not only put in positions to score but make decisions and get guys involved.” Hine notes that Garza could get additional time at the NBA level with Towns unavailable.
- Rudy Gobert‘s new teammates continue to learn about how best to fit in with his game, Hines writes in another Star Tribune story. That extends to how Gobert feels about help coverage around the basket — he is not a fan. “When someone drives on me, unless I fall down, which doesn’t happen, just let me make a play,” Gobert said. “Then if they score, I’ll take the blame.”
- Following a largely successful nine-season run with the Jazz, Gobert was flipped to Minnesota in the offseason. Now, he’s gearing up for his first game in Utah as an opposing player on Friday, Hine writes. “I just want to enjoy the moment,” Gobert said. “There’s a lot of people that I have a lot of love for over there. There’s a lot of great memories. … I just want to enjoy the moment and, of course, get a win.” Gobert won three Defensive Player of the Year awards and made three All-Star teams during his time with the Jazz, though his teams failed to advance beyond the second round of the playoffs.