Insane stat highlights Jaylen Nowell’s dreadful performance

Jaylen Nowell, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Jaylen Nowell, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

Coming into a season where the roster was marked by stark change from last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves were forced to find a new identity while having the pressure of living up to last year’s success.

Rudy Gobert was supposed to immediately fix the Wolves’ rebounding issues, but making him fit next to Karl-Anthony Towns proved a tougher challenge than anticipated. And just when they were finally getting acquainted to one another on the court, KAT was sidelined with a calf injury.

Combine that with the other various injuries Minnesota has dealt with, and it should come as no surprise that the Timberwolves have had a difficult time figuring out where certain players fit in the rotation and what roles need to be filled.

Jaylen Nowell has not lived up to his sixth man expectations

But in all their uncertainty, there is one player who entered this season with a distinct role to play: Jaylen Nowell. After knocking down close to 40% of his three-pointers last season, Nowell was expected to be the Timberwolves’ sixth man and provide instant offense off the bench.

While he is still the team’s sixth-leading scorer and is even averaging a career-high in points, Nowell has not been the efficient scoring machine the Timberwolves were hoping him to be. From three-point range, he is shooting an abysmal 28% for the season.

While one might look at Nowell’s numbers and see his averages largely up from last season, this does not tell the whole story. Timberwolves fans have been frustrated at his shot selection and untimely misses the entire season, and one statistic in particular highlights his shortcomings.

Nowell is the worst in the entire NBA in this statistic

Out of all the players in the NBA, Jaylen Nowell has the single worst effective field goal percentage on unguarded jump shots, for all players with at least 50 shots attempted. He is registering a horrid 37.5% effective field goal percentage on unguarded shots for the season.

For those that are not aware, effective field goal percentage is a stat that takes into account the increased difficulty of attempting a three-pointer as opposed to a two-point shot. In the formula used to calculate eFG%, a made three-pointer carries a higher field goal percentage than a made two-pointer.

What this means for Jaylen Nowell is that he is leaving a lot of opportunities on the table. The important caveat to this particular stat is ‘unguarded’ shots, which is essentially the same type of shot a player would take in pre-game warmups. Nowell’s shooting, particularly from outside the arc, is in the basement even with no one putting any significant pressure on him.

In all, this stat paints a vivid picture of just how short Jaylen Nowell has fallen of his preseason expectations this season. He will need to find his rhythm on a much more consistent basis if he is to help the Timberwolves get back to the playoffs once again.

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