Minnesota Timberwolves: Analyzing Jarrett Culver’s underwhelming start

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 10: Jarrett Culver #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 10: Jarrett Culver #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

After a strong preseason, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Jarrett Culver has had an underwhelming start to his 2019-20 campaign.

The Minnesota Timberwolves moved up in the 2019 NBA Draft to select Jarrett Culver. Since being drafted, there’s been nothing but positive comments about the rookie from Texas Tech and rightfully so.

In college and the preseason, Culver showed fans why he was deserving of that top pick.

In the preseason, he routinely saw over 20 minutes per game and was one of the top performers each night outside of the team’s final exhibition game against the Milwaukee Bucks where he shot about 16 percent.

Before that, Culver had posted games in which he scored 11 points twice and saw upwards of 15 and 17 points in the other two games.

It wasn’t just the scoring that was on display, but his ability to rebound and run the point. His playmaking ability was known from his days as a primary ball-handler at Texas Tech, and he showed those skills in the preseason. His defense was also good as he showed promise of becoming a two-way star.

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However, Culver hasn’t looked like he’s been comfortable at the NBA stage in his three regular season games.

Over time as he gains more experience, these jitters or poor performances will eventually subside. But they’re worth taking a look at after the enormous expectations that were set before the regular season.

His best game was the Timberwolves’ season opener against the Brooklyn Nets where he logged 16 minutes and came away with four points on 2-for-5 shooting with two rebounds and one steal. However, he did commit two turnovers in that time.

In the next game against the Charlotte Hornets, he didn’t record a point on three shots in 14 minutes although he did collect one assist, a rebound, and a steal.

In the Wolves’ home opener against the Miami Heat, he tallied two points in 13 minutes. He also committed two fouls, while also picking up just one rebound and assist.

On the season he’s averaging 2.0 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.7 steals per game while shooting 27.3 percent from the field ,and Culver has yet to make a three on his five attempts from downtown.

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It’s only three games for a rookie, but it’s something to keep an eye on as the season progresses. There’s no need to panic as Culver should be able to break this slump and show the NBA why he was the sixth overall pick in the draft.