Timberpups Tracker: Jan. 21 edition

Wolves rookie Andrew Wiggins averaged 20.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists over the past week.

 

Every Wednesday, FOX Sports North’s Phil Ervin tracks the progress of the Timberwolves’ young core (players on the first or second year of their rookie contract).

ANDREW WIGGINS (age 19, first season)

Statistical averages, past week (season): 36 minutes (32.9), 20.0 points (15.1), 5.3 rebounds (4.3), 2.7 assists (1.8), 1.0 steals (1.1), 1.3 blocks (0.6), 47.8 FG% (42.8), 42.9 3PT% (39.5)

Advanced stats, season: 12.86 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 50.7 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 20.7 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes)

Quote: "Surprised? No. I’ve always been confident in myself. I just need to know how to do it at the NBA level." — Wiggins on his progression this season

Noted: The lapses in aggression are coming fewer and farther between with each passing day, and as a result Wiggins continues to validate the hype that’s surrounded him since his days growing up in Canada. It hit a crescendo in Saturday’s win at Denver, when Wiggins played nearly 40 minutes and had a career-high 31 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal.

ZACH LAVINE (age 19, first season)

Related Content

Statistical averages, past week (season): 15.3 minutes (23.5), 6.7 points (8.4), 1.3 rebounds (2.2), 2.3 assists (3.5), 0.7 steals (0.9), 0.3 blocks (0.2), 50.0 FG% (41.0), 33.3 3PT% (25.0)

Advanced stats, season: 9.18 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 48.1 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 16.5 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes)

Quote: "I take every game the same way. There are great point guards (in this league). … You can’t focus on just coming out one game. I just try to stay focused on all of them. They’re going to do what they do. You’ve just got to try to do the best you can." — LaVine

Noted: With Mo Williams, despite his age, solidifying himself as the top option behind still-injured Ricky Rubio, LaVine’s minutes have continued to dwindle. But in the past few games, he’s made the most of them, connecting on half his shots, continuing to run the Wolves’ offense — albeit a pared-down one for the 19-year-old rookie — and taking fairly good care of the ball.

GORGUI DIENG (age 25, second season)

Statistical averages, past week (season): 34.7 minutes (29.7), 11.0 points (10.0), 8.0 rebounds (8.3), 3.3 assists (2.2), 0.3 steals (1.1), 2.3 blocks (1.8), 42.9 FG% (50.0), 100.0 3PT% (33.3)

Advanced stats, season: 18.25 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 57.4 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 14.6 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes)

Quote: "At some point, you’ve got to sacrifice for the team. . . . At some point, it’s more important. I’m tired of losing." — Dieng

Noted: The signing of Miroslav Raduljica to back up Dieng until Nikola Pekovic returns has taken some slack off the second-year big man from Senegal. Dieng’s sturdy production remains the same; through 40 games, Dieng ranks 20th in the NBA in rebounding, eighth in blocks and sixth among centers in assists.

ANTHONY BENNETT (age 21, second season)

Timberpups Tracker

Statistical averages, past week (season): 22.7 minutes (17.2), 8.3 points (6.0), 5.3 rebounds (4.2), 1.0 assists (0.9), 0.0 steals (0.5), 0.0 blocks (0.3), 43.5 FG% (43.3), 66.7 3PT% (41.7)

Advanced stats, season: 11.99 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 46.4 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 16.8 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes)

Quote: "I’ve just got to work hard every day. Pretty much what everybody says on the coaching staff — come in here, put up a few jump shots, work on post moves, stuff like that." — Bennett

Noted: As long as starting power forward Thaddeus Young continues to struggle, the minutes are going to be there for Bennett. He’s been making more use of them during the past couple weeks, but his defensive activity has regressed somewhat. Even so, Bennett is giving up fewer game reps to Robbie Hummel at the four spot — partly because Hummel’s been needed elsewhere, partly because Saunders is slowly putting more trust in Bennett.

Did not play due to injury

SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD (age 22, second season)

Follow Phil Ervin on Twitter