Karl-Anthony Towns: Minnesota’s 3-point sniper
Welcome to the 2017-18 edition of the Timberpups Tracker. This year, we’re taking a different tact. With Minnesota having taken over a G League franchise in Iowa, and renaming it the Wolves, each Thursday we’ll either track the progress of the players who might be of help to the Timberwolves in the future or a current member of the Minnesota roster. We’ll also give updates on the other young players from the previous week.
This is the 11th edition of the 2017-18 Timberpups Tracker.
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Forward Karl-Anthony Towns
The Timberwolves and Cavaliers broke a NBA single-game record with 40 combined 3-point makes on Wednesday night. Leading the way was Karl-Anthony Towns, who splashed a career-high six 3s on six attempts and is suddenly playing like a 7-foot, 244-pound Steph Curry.
Dating back to a 3-pointer knocked down Feb. 1 against the Bucks, Towns is now perfect in his last 10 attempts from downtown, shattering the Timberwolves’ record for consecutive 3-point makes. (The franchise mark is in better hands now, as the previous owner was Martell Webster with nine.)
If you’re curious, the NBA record for consecutive 3-point field goals made is 13, set by Washington’s Brent Price and Detroit’s Terry Mills a few weeks apart in 1996.
Towns’ perfect 10-for-10 streak has boosted his 3-point percentage from 39.9 to 42.9 percent, which ranks just behind Nemanja Bjelica (43.8 percent) for the team lead. It continues a trend of improvement from beyond the arc for Towns, who shot 34.1 percent on 88 attempts his rookie year and upped it to 36.7 percent on 275 attempts last season.
With 25 regular-season games to play, Towns has already launched 203 3-pointers and needs just 14 makes to surpass his career-best 101, set last season.
Keep shootin’ your shot, Big KAT.
— Andrew Wiggins surpassed the career 6,000-point mark Wednesday night, becoming the sixth youngest player in NBA history to do so at 22 years, 349 days.
— Guard Tyus Jones was outstanding in Minnesota’s win over New Orleans on Saturday. He drained 6 of 9 attempts from the field for 15 points — one off his season-high 16 — and tallied two steals, an assist and a rebound in 20 minutes. Head coach Tom Thibodeau had much to say after the game about Jones’ performance.
— Since Jan. 14, big man Gorgui Dieng is averaging 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 16.3 minutes per game while shooting at a 55.9 percent clip.
— It was a strange week for the G League Wolves. In a tie game with 17.5 seconds left against the Santa Cruz Warriors on Jan. 19, the Warriors were incorrectly assessed a technical foul for calling an excessive timeout, rather than being granted a reset timeout. Iowa took advantage of the technical foul and grabbed a 114-111 lead — and eventually the game. But Santa Cruz wasn’t pleased; the team went to the G League office and protested the game’s outcome. The league officially granted the Warriors their protest on Tuesday, so Iowa and Santa Cruz will play the final 17.5 seconds over again on March 23. Now imagine if protests were a thing in the NBA. … We’d never get to the postseason.
— Melo Trimble knocked down 5 of 6 attempts from downtown in Iowa’s 117-90 win over the Oklahoma City Blue on Saturday. As a team, Iowa ranks third in the G League with a 38.2 percentage from beyond the arc.
— Timberwolves first-round pick Justin Patton tallied a combined 30 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots in Iowa’s two games last week.