Key II: How well do the Timberwolves handle their biggest 2022-23 season challenges?
The Minnesota Timberwolves struggled with rebounding, perimeter shooting, perimeter defense, and passing the basketball. And so, you have to consider just how well this Minnesota Timberwolves roster for the 2023 NBA Summer League competition is able to perform in those areas.
While the Timberwolves have only competed in one game so far, how did they do in rebounding? In perimeter shooting? In perimeter defense? Well, one data point is awfully difficult to draw any conclusions from, but the Timberwolves’ first game was a mixed bag.
Wolves banging boards
In terms of rebounding, the Timberwolves played it close to their opponent, the New Orleans Pelicans, pulling in 35 rebounds to the Pelicans’ 37 rebounds. But the Timberwolves were incredibly active on the offensive boards, a statistic in which the Timberwolves were considerably weak last season.
So how were the Timberwolves at perimeter shooting? Wendell Moore Jr. tried like hell to sink those three-pointers but was only able to hit on three of 12 shots from beyond the arc. That coincided with the entire team’s struggles, scoring on just seven of 28 treys in the game.
Thankfully, their opponents were no better from long range. The Pelicans scored an identical seven of 28 shots from long range. Because we cannot track how effectively either team shot from beyond the arc in other games, we cannot distinguish whether it was all just bad shooting or great defense. We should have a better understanding after the Timberwolves second summer league game.