Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 Most Valuable Players so far this season

Jordan McLaughlin of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Jordan McLaughlin of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Gorgui Dieng
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 01: Gorgui Dieng #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

2. Gorgui Dieng

Dieng played a vital role for the Timberwolves off the bench and provided stability in the starting lineup when Towns was unable to suit up.

Dieng is a different player as a starter when he is coming off the bench.

Throughout his career in Minnesota, Dieng played a lot better when he has a bigger role or the confidence in his game. Prior to Taj Gibson replacing Dieng in the starting lineup, he was performing well as the starting power forward alongside Towns. When he was moved to the bench during that 2017-18 season, he was almost unplayable.

With a larger role this season, Dieng played a lot better. Before being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, he played in 46 games and started in 17 of those. He averaged 7.4 points, 5.6 points, 1.3 assists, 0.9 blocks and 0.8 steals per game.

As a starter, he averaged 13.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks. One of the bigger improvements to his game this season was his ability to shoot the ball from three. He was one of the team’s better 3-point shooters, shooting 38.3 percent while 43.3 percent of his shot attempts were from beyond the arc.

Dieng also had a large part in improving the Timberwolves defense when he was the starter. Towns missed close to a month between Dec. 14 and Jan. 16. The Wolves’ defensive rating was 104.1 during that span,  which was second in the league.

Now, Minnesota is hurting with Towns out and Dieng playing in Memphis. With both players out of the equation, it’s easy to see why they were each was a top-three most-valuable player to the team’s success.