The Minnesota Timberwolves have one of the most exciting collections of young players on an NBA roster. Every Thursday, FOX Sports North tracks the progress of those on the Timberwolves who are in their first or second season in the league.
This is the second edition of the 2015-16 Timberpups Tracker. Note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the next Timberpups Tracker will not appear until Dec. 3.
PER — Player Efficiency Rating: A measure of per-minute production standardized such that the league average is 15.
TS% — True Shooting Percentage: A measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws.
USG% — Usage Percentage: An estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor.
ORtg — Offensive Rating: An estimate of points produced per 100 possessions.
DRtg — Defensive Rating: An estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions.
VORP — Value over Replacement Player: A box score estimate of the points per 100 TEAM possessions that a player contributed above a replacement-level (-2.0) player, translated to an average team and prorated to an 82-game season.
Notable: Wiggins’ increased aggressiveness has to be an encouraging sign for the Timberwolves’ brass. He took 38 total field-goal attempts during Minnesota’s two games in Florida earlier this week, and he went 12 for 14 at the charity stripe en route to 28 points in Wednesday’s narrow loss at Orlando.
Notable: LaVine has, at times this season, had spurts with too many turnovers and too many fouls. All things considered, though, the 6-5 guard is undeniably making strides. Last weekend, against Indiana and Memphis, he scored 26 points and 25 points, respectively. In Sunday’s loss to the Grizzlies, the UCLA product had 25 points and three assists in just 17 minutes. LaVine has shown a decent 3-point stroke, too, evidenced by his 2-for-5 showing from beyond the arc on Wednesday in Orlando.
Notable: Payne hasn’t seen a ton of playing time this season, but he serves a respectable role when he gets his chance. On Tuesday at Miami, for instance, he scored eight points on 4-for-7 shooting in 17 minutes, in a Timberwolves win.
Notable: The Wolves’ top overall pick from last summer had shown slight hints that he was tiring in recent games — before Wednesday, that is. Against Orlando, "KAT" logged 37 minutes, producing 21 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks. It already seems pretty obvious: the 7-foot former Kentucky Wildcat is going to be really, really good in the NBA.
Notable: Bjelica’s trademarked rebounding has faded over the last week, and he shot just 22.2 percent from 3-point range (4 for 18). Still, given his solid reputation in those two categories, he should get back on track in short order.
Notable: Jones, the pride of Apple Valley, remains stuck at the end of Minnesota’s bench and did not play last week. It’s important to remember Jones’ age (he doesn’t turn 20 until May 10) and keep expectations low for the former Duke Blue Devil, in Year 1 as a pro.