Minnesota Timberwolves futility over 3-point shooting is concerning

Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports /

When it comes to the Minnesota Timberwolves right now, the perimeter is full of land mines. It’s all pretty simple and straightforward: The Timberwolves can’t shoot them, and the Timberwolves can’t defend them. And now, after nine games into the season, that’s becoming a horrific problem. And like many problems that we have all faced in adolescence, the Timberwolves simply must grow out of it.

And it won’t be a pretty sight. At the beginning of November 20202, the Timberwolves were struggling to make their perimeter shots, and to defend opponents from making theirs:

So have the Timberwolves improved by the end of November 2022? Well yes, but not by much. The team is shooting just 32.7 percent from the perimeter, which is no better than 27th place among 30 NBA teams. So what about their opponents? Have the Timberwolves gotten any better at defending the perimeter? Well, not yet, as the team has allowed opposing teams to score 37.3 percent of their three-point attempts. That works out to be a perimeter defense that comes in at 25th place in the 30-team NBA.

That’s not very good, is it?

Well, you can blame the starting five for their scoring woes so far. Of the starting five on the Timberwolves roster of center Rudy Gobert, PF Karl-Anthony Towns, SF Jaden McDaniels, SG Anthony Edwards, and PG D’Angelo Russell, the Timberwolves are averaging just 7.4 out of 22.2 three-point shots, for a 33.3 scoring percentage from beyond the arc.

The Timberwolves have flashed the ability to sink those long shots, as well as keep their opponents from scoring at will from long range. But those flashes have not continued for long enough nor happened often enough to keep this team on track.

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