Minnesota Timberwolves LR artillery needs to find the mark this season

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been tweaking the new formula for success even into the 2023-24 offseason.  With All-Star center Rudy Gobert playing near the basket, the Wolves are all but certain to get a lot of points in the paint. And with long-range shooters on the team, neither spacing nor scoring should be a problem. Well, in theory, anyways.

When the guns stop hitting their mark, the Timberwolves will struggle. Unfortunately, the guns stopped hitting the bullseye in the second half of the 2022-23 season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder. When that happens, 17-point leads quickly become six-point deficits.

So the big question this season is obvious. How do the Timberwolves avoid that from happening again this season?

Reinforcements have arrived

In theory, the Timberwolves have two options to avoid repeating their 2022-23 NBA season struggles at the perimeter. The first is to address their ability to score from beyond the arc. That makes sense, as many Timberwolves shooters were far too inconsistent to ensure proper spacing.

The second option requires the Timberwolves to beef up the perimeter defense, forcing opponents to tackle the paint and attempt to get past the Stifle Tower, Rudy Gobert, to score.  That was not the case last season, as many of the new additions were earmarked more for scoring at the perimeter that successfully defending it.
This season, the Timberwolves roster is tackling the problem in a new way: Bolstering both perimeter scoring and perimeter defense. Players like:

  1. Forward Troy Brown Jr. – A versatile 3-and-D who can contribute anywhere
  2. Guard Shake Milton – A combination guard who can slide into a backup PG role
  3. Rookie forward Leonard Miller – A do-it-all weapon for the Timberwolves roster

All three add both perimeter defense and perimeter shooting. And they simply layer on top of the additions of veteran PG Mike Conley Jr. and SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, both of whom joined the Minnesota Timberwolves at the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline.

It’s clear that improving perimeter presence was a priority for the Minnesota Timberwolves front office this offseason. Did the team do enough? We’ll find out in a matter of weeks.

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