Northwest Notes: Braun, KCP, Edwards, Dort

The Nuggets can’t just plug Christian Braun into the starting lineup if Kentavious Caldwell-Pope leaves in free agency and expect the same production, Sean Keeler of the Denver Post writes.

Keeler notes that the team tried to overcome the free agent loss of Bruce Brown with a combination of Braun and Peyton Watson, but those second-year players couldn’t replicate Brown’s impact. If KCP does sign elsewhere, the Nuggets will need at least one proven veteran shooter behind Braun to slot into the bench. Keeler also notes Caldwell-Pope posted a 122.4 offensive rating per 100 possessions this season, compared to Braun’s 110.0 mark.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • A more aggressive Anthony Edwards and a more physical, forceful defensive effort against Luka Doncic could allow the Timberwolves to turn the Western Conference Finals around, Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports opines.
  • Edwards concurs with Goodwill’s assessment, vowing to be a bigger offensive force in Game 3 this evening, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I’m going to be super aggressive,” Edwards said. “I haven’t taken more than 16 shots in each game. So I’m going to be ultra-aggressive coming out, for sure.” The Timberwolves guard also says he and his teammates are unfazed by the prospect of being down 2-0 in the series and needing to win at least two road contests. “It didn’t do nothing but add fuel to the fire for Game 3,” Edwards said. “I think all my teammates ready to go, it’s fun. … I think we’re in a pretty good mood. Everybody’s smiling and joking. We know we’re a good team. We know it’s not over. I don’t think anybody’s worried. Just know we got to come ready to play tonight.”
  • In his series of player report cards regarding the Thunder, The Oklahoman’s Joe Mussatto notes that Luguentz Dort has improved his offensive game to complement his elite defense.
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