Hernangomez proving to be perfect fit for new-look Wolves
President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas has a vision for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rosas made it clear at the 2020 trade deadline that drastic changes needed to happen, as he completed multiple deals to usher in a new era of Wolves basketball. Suddenly, the Timberwolves are bursting with intriguing young talent that surrounds an All-Star duo in Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.
Each Thursday, we’ll be tracking the progress of these young players while also keeping up with the G League Iowa Wolves to see who will rise to the challenge of bringing a consistent, winning team to Minnesota.
This is the 16th edition of the 2019-20 Young Wolves Tracker.
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Forward Juancho Hernangomez
Well, well, well.
After finishing off a Zach Lavine-less Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, the Timberwolves have won back-to-back games for the first time since early January.
It sure is nice to get a taste of what Rosas and head coach Ryan Saunders have in mind for this new era of Minnesota hoops.
A pair of prolific scorers in Malik Beasley and D’Angelo Russell have stolen away the headlines since Rosas’ big moves at the trade deadline — as they should. But the unsung hero of these new-look Wolves has been Hernangomez.
In 11 games with the Timberwolves — all starts – Hernangomez is averaging 13.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steal in 29.5 minutes per contest.
But most impressively, Hernangomez is draining 45.3% of his 3-point shots, well over his career mark of 36.1%. The 24-year-old has nailed multiple 3s in five straight contests and eight of 11 overall for the Wolves.
Perhaps no player represents the vision of Rosas and Saunders better than Hernangomez. Since his first game in Minnesota on Feb. 8, he’s shot 111 times from the field. Fifty-two of those attempts have come from within five feet of the basket (46.8%) and 53 have been from 3-point range (47.7%). That means just 5.5% of his attempts have come in between five feet and the 3-point line — that dreaded word “midrange.”
Just look at that shot chart. Someone bring this to Rosas’ office ASAP.
In the words of Mr. Rosas, tank that.
— Karl-Anthony Towns continues to sit out and has missed the last nine games with a wrist injury.
— In nine games with the Timberwolves, Russell is averaging 23.1 points, 7.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 43.6% from the floor. He’s letting it fly, too. Over the last six contests, Russell is averaging 10.2 attempts from long range and making 4.0 (39.3%).
— Jordan McLaughlin keeps producing at guard. The undrafted rookie poured in 10 points and tallied seven assists against Chicago on Wednesday.
— Beasley has been a monster of late for Minnesota. He posted 28 points on 11-of-13 shooting Tuesday night and added another 24 to his name Wednesday. Beasley has cashed in 4+ 3-pointers in each of his last three contests.