This week saw the Minnesota Timberwolves go 0-3 against two teams they recently played and the Houston Rockets, who have a similar small-ball style. However, to provide you with some good news considering our current news cycle, there will be no bad or ugly portions this week as the team heads into hiatus.
1.) Josh Okogie, the backbone of the Minnesota Timberwolves
Okogie can be seen flying across the court making high-effort defensive plays, attacking the rim, and playing at his normal 100% effort at all times of the game. Being that the sophomore player is the second-longest tenured player on the team, it’s nice to see him leading by example.
He’s also improved dramatically throughout the season, especially after the trade deadline.
Before the All-Star game, Okogie was shooting 41.2% from the field, 25% from the three-point line, and 79.1% from the free throw line while averaging 8.6 points per game. After the All Star game, the young wing is shooting 50.8% from the field, 36.4% from three, and 82.1% from the free throw line.
We’re working with a small sample size, but those improvements have certainly been encouraging.
2.) Jake Layman roaring back
It looked like Kelan Martin had surpassed Jake Layman in Minnesota’s rotation during the Wolves’ recent game against the Orlando Magic. Martin was off the bench before him and Layman didn’t get many minutes early on.
Unfortunately, Martin got hurt in that game and ended up only playing five minutes. This is when Layman woke up.
After struggling a bit since coming back from his injury, Layman had scored 14 points on 62.5% from the field, 11 points on 66.7%, and 9 points on 60% over a three-game stretch.
Layman getting back into a groove is huge for the Wolves going forward. Layman is an ideal forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ bench, and players like him are in high demand across the league.
Nobody can have enough dynamic three-and-D players, and it looks like the Wolves have one in Jake Layman.
3.) The man who unlocked D’Angelo Russell is now available
When D’Angelo Russell was playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, he had a lot of red flags and did not look like an All-Star. However, after he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets things started to change and we got to watch the point guard grow up before our eyes.
A lot of D’Angelo’s improvement can be credited to former Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, who was recently let go. Atkinson took a young Nets team and made them a playoff team before reportedly having creative differences with the new stars of the team.
While the jury is still out on current head coach Ryan Saunders, having the option to go and grab a coach that has the track record of Kenny Atkinson and that would make D’Lo happy is definitely worth consideration. Especially considering that he’s a perfect fit for this young Wolves team.
4.) G League MVP: Jarred Vanderbilt
Jarred Vanderbilt hasn’t been awarded the MVP award in the G League, but he has definitely been playing like one.
Vanderbilt is a very intriguing prospect that could potentially be a useful player for the Timberwolves going forward. He has been averaging 15.9 points, 13 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game while having some very noteworthy games including a 12-point, 18-rebound, and 11-assist performance against the Salt Lake City Stars.
Unfortunately the Wolves won’t have any games for the next couple of weeks but this weekly review will continue as usual to satisfy your content needs.