Having traded away solid three-point shooters like Malik Beasley and Patrick Beverley in the blockbuster Rudy Gobert deal, the Timberwolves have seen their outside shooting take a step back in the early part of this season, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
In 2021/22, Minnesota ranked first in the NBA in three-point attempts per game and 12th in three-point percentage. So far in ’22/23, those marks have slipped to 12th and 24th, respectively, even after a solid showing vs. Houston on Saturday, when the team made 15-of-33 (45.5%) tries from beyond the arc.
While the personnel changes are one reason why the Wolves aren’t attempting or making as many three-pointers, several players on the roster are shooting below their previous rates, so some positive regression could be coming. Still, head coach Chris Finch said last week that he doesn’t necessarily expect this year’s team to shoot as much from outside as last year’s, stressing that good ball movement and quick decisions are more important for unlocking the offense.
“Too much thinking, I think, as a group, including myself,” D’Angelo Russell said of the offensive issues. “It’s part of the process. Everybody’s in positions that they’ve never been before.”
Here’s more on the Wolves:
- Having lost tone-setters like Beverley and Jarred Vanderbilt, the Timberwolves need to commit to playing with the edge and intensity that championship-caliber teams do on a night-to-night basis, according to Karl-Anthony Towns. “I think just more for us to have a mindset that I think when I watch those teams play, they play as if everything is Game 7 of the Finals,” Towns said, per Krawczynski. “They treat everything with that kind of level of execution and discipline and seriousness. I just think that’s something we gotta reach, and it’s not going to come overnight.”
- Jaylen Nowell, who is extension-eligible and can be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, has a new agency, though he hasn’t technically changed representatives. As Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News relays (via Twitter), Nowell’s agent Ryan Davis has moved to LIFT Sports Management, which was founded by former NBA forward Mike Miller.
- After signing a two-year extension with the Timberwolves over the summer, Taurean Prince is off to a hot start (.542/.459/.857 shooting) on the court, and his presence off the court has been just as impactful. Prince’s teammates refer to him as “the leader in the film room,” according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.“He’s just calling everybody out,” Nowell said. “Whoever it is, whether it’s the No. 1 guy or the No. 15 guy. He’s calling everybody out, and that’s where you get the respect from everybody.” Naz Reid also had praise for Prince: “He’s a great teammate, great vet. Nobody like him.”
- In case you missed it, center Rudy Gobert entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Saturday.