Long range artillery
When the Minnesota Timberwolves front office scrambled to fill many roster spots vacated by trading five players to the Utah Jazz for center Rudy Gobert, there was not a great deal of time to assess and vet players in terms of potential and fit. As a result, the team committed to NBA veterans who had a penchant for scoring from the perimeter like shooting guard Bryn Forbes, shooting guard Austin Rivers, and small forward Kyle Anderson.
On the other hand, the team was hesitant to redo the entire Timberwolves roster, so the team committed to point guard D’Angelo Russell, shooting guard Jaylen Nowell, and backup point guard Jordan McLaughlin. In theory, the team assembled a diverse group of players who were quite capable of scoring from the perimeter.
Well, that was disappointing
In practice, nothing could be further from the truth. While Kyle Anderson held up his end of the bargain, neither Forbes nor Rivers were particularly effective at sinking Treys for the Timberwolves. Compounding the problem even further was the fact that neither Jaylen Nowell nor Jordan McLaughlin was able to score from downtown either.
Even D’Angelo Russell, one of the more productive players on the Timberwolves roster in terms of scoring points, was incredibly hot and cold from long range. And he was often ice cold from the perimeter when the Timberwolves played against, you guessed it, bad teams.
Making matters worse, none of these players with the exception of Kyle Anderson was particularly effective at defense. And so, the scorers who could not score were not defending the perimeter either.