Improvement II: Perimeter shooting needs to improve drastically
The Minnesota Timberwolves opened the 2022-23 NBA season with horrific perimeter shooting and horrific perimeter defense. Throughout the 2023 preseason, the new and improved Timberwolves roster seemed to have both well in hand, as the team was shooting well from beyond the arc, and the Timberwolves’ perimeter defense was both energetic and inspired.
So why did the Timberwolves revert to the lethargic effort that was an eyesore from last season? Only one Timberwolves player, Anthony Edwards, made more than two treys in the game. But three Raptors players sank 3+ shots from beyond the arc.
Someone flipped the script
It wasn’t as though the Timberwolves weren’t trying. If you exclude Edwards, the other Timberwolves starters: Power Forward Karl-Anthony Towns, point guard Mike Conley Jr., and small forward Nickeil Alexander-Walker, shot an alarmingly poor 3 of 17 (17.6 percent) from three-point range.
Of course, that would not have been so pronounced if the Toronto Raptors, did not feast from three-point range on the same night. One year ago, the Toronto Raptors averaged just 33.5 percent shooting from three-point range, while the Minnesota Timberwolves eventually improved to 36.5 percent from long-range.
But somehow, the script was flipped and the Raptors ended this one with a cozy 40 percent accuracy from the perimeter, while the Timberwolves were inept with just 25.8 percent accuracy from that distance.