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 2nd edition of the 2017-18 Timberpups Tracker.
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Center Karl-Anthony Towns
Towns, the top pick in the 2015 draft, has done a lot of special things since entering the NBA. What he did Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers might have been his rarest of all.
In Minnesota’s 113-107 victory, Towns accumulated 21 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals (the assists a high this season and the blocks tying his high). This marked just the 12th time since 2015-16 (Towns’ rookie year) that a player in the league posted 20+ points, 10+ rebounds, 4+ assists, 4+ blocks and 2+ steals in a game.
This season, only Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic has accomplished the feat — and ironically he did it earlier Wednesday night.
Only seven other players have such a game over the past couple of seasons — Giannis Antetokounmpo (twice), DeMarcus Cousins (twice), Anthony Davis (twice), Draymond Green, Al Horford, Paul Milsap and Jusuf Nurkic.
That’s some pretty good — and exclusive — company to keep.
And oh by the way, that was Towns’ 20th double-double of the season he purloined against the Clippers, a total which leads the NBA. That’s 20 of those in just 26 games. Last season, Towns had 62 double-doubles in 82 games. If he keeps up his pace, he’ll have 63 in 2017-18.
— Speaking of double-doubles, Iowa center Amile Jefferson posted three of them last week: 23 points and 17 rebounds at Wisconsin, 19 points and 15 rebounds vs. Texas and 16 points and 17 rebounds vs. Austin. That gives Jefferson (16.8 ppg, 14.6 rpg) five on the season. Jefferson leads the G League in rebounds per game by nearly four (the next closest is at 10.5 rebounds per game).
— Iowa guard Melo Trimble had his second double-double of the season, recording 29 points (on 11-of-20 shooting) and 11 assists against Wisconsin. Trimble is averaging 23.0 points and 6.4 assists over 37.8 minutes and has made 44 of 46 free-throw attempts.
— Top pick Justin Patton, recovering from offseason surgery, was sent to Iowa but has yet to play in a game. We’ll surely have a Patton update in next week’s Timberpups Tracker.
— Andrew Wiggins has scored 16 or fewer points in three straight games, his longest such stretch since he did it in three straight from Nov. 19-23, 2016. In this recent run, however, he’s had a positive box score plus/minus in two of the three and was only a minus-5 in the other. In last season’s, he was minus-8 or worse in all three.