Wolves’ Wiggins taking his game more downtown
The Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t exactly Timberpups anymore. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are well into their NBA careers at this point, while the Wolves’ lineup features seven players with 5-plus years of experience.
Welcome to the 2018-19 edition of the Young Wolves Tracker, formerly the Timberpups Tracker.
Each Thursday we’ll either track the progress of the Iowa Wolves players who might be of help to the Timberwolves in the future, or a current member of Minnesota’s roster. We’ll also give updates on the other young players from the previous week.
This is the 2nd edition of the 2018-19 Young Wolves Tracker.
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Forward Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins has increased his 3-point shooting every season he’s been in the NBA. From 1.5 attempts per game as a rookie all the way to 4.1 last season. But this season he’s taken an even bigger jump.
While previously Wiggins’ biggest increase in attempted 3s between seasons was 1.0 — from 2.4 in 2015-16 to 3.4 in 2016-17 — nine games into this season he’s averaging almost two more 3 attempts per game (6.0) than he did in 2017-18.
And with the more attempts have also come more makes. Last season Wiggins averaged 1.4 3s on 33.1 percent shooting from downtown. This season he’s up to 2.4 and 39.6 percent (his previous career high is 35.6 percent two years ago).
In four games this past week, Wiggins attempted 27 3s — an average of 6.75 per game — and made 11 (2.75 average), a 40.7 shooting percentage.
Thirty-five percent of Wiggins’ shots this season have been 3-point attempts — last season it was a career-high 26 percent.
While Wiggins is averaging fewer points per game than last season (17.0 to 17.7), he’s also playing on average four minutes less per game (32.2 to 36.3). His per-36 ppg is 19.0, compared to 17.5 in 2017-18.
— Karl-Anthony Towns had eight blocks in four games last week. He’s averaging 2.2 blocks per game. Last season he averaged 1.4 and his career high is 1.7 as a rookie. His 5.3 block percentage would also be a career high.
— Jared Terrell, a rookie guard from Rhode Island who is on a two-way contract, made his MNBA debut Sunday. He played 21 minutes at Portland and had four points, two steals, one rebound, one steal and one block.
— Down in the G League, Darius Johnson-Odom is averaging 26.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists and Xavier Silas 20.7 points in Iowa’s first three games.