The Minnesota Timberwolves are getting closer to full strength as wing Robert Covington heads to the Iowa Wolves on a rehab assignment. Also, a fun feature on Wolves assistant coach Ed Pinckney.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been without Robert Covington since he suffered a bone bruise to his ankle on New Year’s Eve.
The Wolves have sorely missed his defensive prowess and activity, and perhaps even more so, his floor-spacing on offense. Covington’s willingness and ability to shoot deep 3-pointers at any moment adds an element that his replacement, rookie Josh Okogie, just can’t replicate.
Okogie has been solid, to be sure, and has had a few outstanding offensive games. But his 26.7 percent shooting clip from beyond the arc is a far cry from Covington’s track record of success from deep.
On defense, Okogie has been a worthy fill-in, and Luol Deng has done a solid job off the bench, too. The weak links when it comes to perimeter defense have largely been the revolving door at point guard and the possessions and games in which Andrew Wiggins doesn’t appear to be entirely engaged.
Also, Anthony Tolliver has at times been pressed into guarding opposing 3s, which typically hasn’t turned out favorably for the Wolves.
All that said, Covington will be joining the Iowa Wolves of the G League to begin a rehab assignment. There’s no word on how long he’ll be down there, but Cameron Reynolds‘ 10-day contract would suggest he’s still at least a week away.
To complicate matters, Deng came down with a sore Achilles in Wednesday’s loss in Atlanta, so the Wolves are now down to Wiggins and Okogie as true wings. That means that we’ll see more two-guard lineups, or perhaps more Tolliver at the 3, unless Saunders takes the leap and gives a few minutes to Reynolds in the interim to see what he can offer.
Elsewhere, the NBA Coaches Association worked with the National Basketball Coaches Association to release a cool video about Wolves assistant coach Ed Pinckney. You can find the whole story on their website, or simply watch the video below.
It will be interesting to see what changes might be made to the coaching staff following the season, as Andy Greer was the only assistant that was let go along with Tom Thibodeau back on Jan. 6.
In the meantime, the Wolves have their work cut-out for them in regards to making the playoffs…