Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 quick things to expect from Karl-Anthony Towns

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 12: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 12: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Karl-Anthony Towns has stated that he only reached 60 percent of his potential. What can we expect to see differently from the Minnesota Timberwolves’ superstar?

Karl-Anthony Towns is already one of the league’s best players and a two-time All-Star heading into just his fifth year with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He’s already stated that he has plenty to improve on — another 40 percent worth, actually — so what can we expect to see out of him this season?

Defensive Improvement

Let’s not expect Towns to turn in Rudy Gobert, but surrounded by better defenders it’s fair to expect Towns to show a much improved effort and play with more joy on the the defensive end.

It’s just much easier to play when your teammates show the same effort and play with confidence on defense. It’s contagious, and having a teammate like Josh Okogie defending the pick-and-roll will instantly allow Towns to trust that if he does his job, they can make a stop — especially when Robert Covington is on the weak side.

Transition Offense

Great defense generally leads to transition offense.

New president of basketball operations Gerrson Rosas and head coach Ryan Saunders want to play fast, and Towns has put an emphasis on working on his ball handling this offseason.

Since Towns averages the most defensive rebounds on the team, we could see a lot of Towns leading the fast break. Instead of grabbing a rebound and looking to hand off to a guard, Towns could very well be dribbling down the floor looking to attack the defense before they get set, whether from heading to the rim or shooting from long distance.

Shooting more 3-pointers

Towns is the best 3-point shooter on the team, and it’s a safe bet that the new regime will want him launching even more from deep than he has in recent years.

With an expectation of playing more on the perimeter, Towns has been working on his handle quite a bit this offseason (per Instagram, at least) and with more time on the perimeter there will be more 3-point attempts.

Ryan Saunders has mentioned that Towns will even get a chance to handle the ball in the pick-and-roll. It’s unclear exactly how that might happen if Covington ends up starting at power forward, but if Towns is in a lineup with another big man he is more likely to be defended by a power forward.

Therefore, getting a screen from his big man and forcing a switch onto a center will allow Towns to get some open looks off the dribble for a 3-point shot, or, if the center closes out hard, Towns will have a chance to get to the rim.

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There are plenty of ways in which Towns can be expected to improve in his fifth year in the league, and given his track record of improving each season, it’s fair to assume that his progress will be noticeable.