The Minnesota Timberwolves can use the draft to help fix their perimeter defense.
Put simply the Minnesota Timberwolves need to upgrade their defense.
Interior defense is still vitally important in today’s NBA, but as the league continues to move farther from the hoop, having staunch perimeter defenders is essential.
Guards and wings run things now, and by not having a solidified point-of-attack defender, a team’s defense starts behind the eight-ball. The emphasis on threes is glaring as the team with the lowest number of 3-point attempts at 27.5 per game this season would have ranked second in the league just five seasons ago.
Despite bringing in hopeful 3-and-D wings and guards and hiring defensively-focused coaches, the Timberwolves haven’t had a defensive rating in the top half of the league since the 2013-14 season. Some reasons for this defensive incompetence include signing or drafting poor defenders, outdated coaching philosophies, and weak perimeter defense.
The Timberwolves have been notably bad at defending the 3-point line over the last decade despite the entirety of the league becoming fascinated with the three. In the last decade, the Timberwolves’ best result at allowing threes was in the 2011-12 season when they ranked seventh in three-point percentage allowed. Besides that, their best finish was 17th in the league and 20th in the league last season, allowing a 3-point percentage of 36.3.
A silver lining here is that the Timberwolves only allowed the fifth least 3-point attempts per game, but the significance lessens when a lot of them are going in.
Even though the defensive philosophy leans towards not allowing threes, the Timberwolves don’t have the personnel to defend the three-point line effectively. Luckily, with three of the first 33 picks in a draft full of role players who can be capable perimeter defenders, the Timberwolves should be able to fill their perimeter defense void.