Minnesota Timberwolves Mid-Season Awards

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Jan 17, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robbie Hummel (4) shoots the ball over Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) during the second half at Pepsi Center. The Timberwolves won 113-105. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Most Valuable Player: Robbie Hummel

As surprising as this selection might be for the unsuspecting fan, it wasn’t a hard decision. The only player that could even rival Hummel for this category would be Gorgui Dieng, who has performed admirably in the absence of Pekovic. Muhammad may have been a candidate had he played more early and not been injured for much of the month of January.

But Hummel has been there all season, played something resembling all five positions on the floor, and been consistently effective as a small-ball four-man and occasionally at the small forward spot.

I’ve knocked Hummel in the past for supposedly being a “shooter”, but never really translating that skill to an NBA game. And he still hasn’t, shooting just 31.4% from three-point range and 34.7% for his career, despite 42.9% of his overall shot attempts coming from beyond the arc. In fact, he’s Saunders’ dream forward in some respects, as he’s turned into a dead-eye mid-range shooter if left open.

Alas, Hummel continues to shoot just 3 of 15 from three-point land above the break. But if the Wolves could find him in the corner a bit more often, that seems to be a shot that he would drain with regularity. (Side note: Hummel feels like exactly the kind of player that a Stan Van Gundy or Daryl Morey would pick up on the cheap and stick in the corner to drain threes. This will happen eventually.)

Hummel has played most of his minutes as a small-ball power forward this season, but has played small forward, center, and even some point forward backing up Zach LaVine when Mo Williams has missed time. He’s been the most consistent player on the team, and on a squad with a struggling offense and defense, the team treads water nicely with him on the court.

Hummel has long been an underrated player, and if he can shore up his long-range accuracy just a bit, he could be a long-term rotation player in the NBA.

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