Nickeil Alexander-Walker was basically a throw-in to the deal that brought Mike Conley to the Timberwolves in February but he has emerged as a playoff starter, Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes.
Alexander-Walker moved into a more prominent role after Jaden McDaniels broke his hand during the regular season finale. Alexander-Walker has shadowed Jamal Murray during a portion of the series against the Nuggets and contributed a couple of key three-pointers in Game 4. He’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and hopes to stay with the Timberwolves.
“They gave me a chance,” he said of the Timberwolves. “I’ve been working very, very hard, relentlessly and sometimes I’m too hard on myself, for an opportunity. So for me to get that, I would love to come back. I believe in this group. Believe that we can figure it out together and do something special.”
We have more from the Northwest Division:
- Anthony Edwards carried the Timberwolves to an overtime victory in Game 4 with 34 points but he wasn’t impressed with himself, ESPN’s Andrew Lopez relays. “I played terrible if you ask me,” Edwards said. “I took three bad threes, three terrible possessions, and I (darn) near shot us out the game. I didn’t play that good.”
- After being named the league’s Most Improved Player, Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen wants to find more ways to improve, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic. “I haven’t accomplished anything,” Markkanen said. “I’ve said this before, but I’m not trying to stop here. I’m just beginning. I want to get better this summer and make that next leap. I want to lead this team to the playoffs. Having this kind of season feels good, but I want to keep continually getting better. That’s my mindset.”
- Jazz head coach Will Hardy is tweaking his staff as he heads toward his second season with the franchise. He is not retaining assistant coaches Alex Jensen and Irv Roland, Jones tweets.