Timberwolves that must play well to avoid missing playoffs

Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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Mike Conley, Minnesota Timberwolves
Mike Conley, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

3. Mike Conley

Speaking of veterans, Mike Conley will be equally as important as Minnesota looks to close the season out strong. He has only played six games in a Timberwolves uniform, but there is zero doubt his style of play has been a swift departure from the offensive-minded ways of D’Angelo Russell.

Conley has put up just 8.5 points per game since his arrival at the trade deadline, and this is not entirely a bad thing. The fact that he is decidedly a pass-first player at this point in his career has opened up more opportunities for the likes of Anthony Edwards to hunt his shot and make his presence known as the team’s first option.

Whereas Edwards was sharing shot attempts with D’Lo before, Mike Conley can now take a firm backseat to the young All-Star. While this is good for Ant’s development, it can also be a hindrance to the Wolves’ offense if Conley is not deemed by defenses as a threat to score. If other teams decide they do not need to respect Conley’s shot, it will make for more crowded driving lanes and lead to more turnovers.

That is why it will be paramount for Conley to settle in offensively down the stretch of the season. He even admitted he thought he was taking an approach that was too passive in his first several games with the team. Playing in his 16th year in the league, Conley’s experience could play a big factor in determining where the Wolves end up when it is all said and done.

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