Timberpups Tracker: Tyus Jones plays meaningful minutes

BY Ryan Lund • January 12, 2017

The Minnesota Timberwolves have one of the most exciting collections of young players on an NBA roster with nearly half of their players 25 or younger. Every Thursday, FOX Sports North tracks the progress of those young Timberwolves.

This is the 10th edition of the 2016-17 Timberpups Tracker.

(A glossary of the advanced statistics used for season totals, which are from basketball-reference.com. can be found at the end of this article)

KRIS DUNN (age 22, first season)

Statistical season averages: 16.8 minutes, 4.0 points, 2.2. rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.4 blocks, 38.2 FG%, 29.4 3PT%

Statistical averages, last week: 14.4 minutes, 2.8 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks, 35.7 FG%, 0.0 3PT%

Advanced stats, season: 8.7 PER, 44.4 TS%, 15.2 USG%, 90 ORtg, 107 DRtg, -0.1 VORP

Notable: Dunn was shut out in the Wolves' loss to Washington last week and made his biggest contribution in their win over Houston on Wednesday, scoring six points. His playing dipped to its lowest point since late November at just 12:57.

 

TYUS JONES (age 20, second season)

Statistical season averages: 10.5 minutes, 3.3 points, 1.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.0 blocks, 46.2 FG%, 44.0 3PT%

Statistical averages, last week: 11 minutes, 7.0 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.0 blocks, 1.00 FG%, 1.00 3PT%

Advanced stats, season: 16.8 PER, 62.3 TS%, 13.7 USG%, 125 ORtg, 110 DRtg, 0.1 VORP

Notable: Jones finally made it off the bench with Zach LaVine ailing, playing 11 minutes in a win over Dallas and scoring seven points. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has given no indication that he intends to give the sophomore guard more minutes once LaVine returns, but it was another encouraging performance for the Minnesota native.

 

ZACH LAVINE (age 21, third season)

Statistical season averages: 37.4 minutes, 20.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, 46.8 FG%, 40.9 3PT%

Statistical averages, last week: 34.6 minutes, 12.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.0 blocks, 35.7 FG%, 31.6 3PT%

Advanced stats, season: 16.1 PER, 59.0 TS%, 22.8 USG%, 115 ORtg, 114 DRtg, 0.9 VORP

Notable: LaVine exited the Dallas game with a hip contusion and missed the win over Houston. He was held to just eight points -- his second-lowest total of the season -- against Washington, but bounced back for a 24-point outing against Utah.

 

SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD (age 24, fourth season)

Statistical season averages: 18.1 minutes, 8.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 45.2 FG%, 39.6 3PT%

Statistical averages, last week: 22.6 minutes, 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.0 steals, 0.0 blocks, 60.9 FG%, 57.1 3PT%

Advanced stats, season: 12.6 PER, 55.2 TS%, 19.6 USG%, 110 ORtg, 114 DRtg, -0.5 VORP

Notable: Muhammad reached 20 points for just the second time this season in the Houston game, shooting a whopping 63.6 percent (7-for-11) from the field. Muhammad has now reached double figures in three of his last six games, but sat out of the loss to Washington.

 

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS (age 21, second season)

Statistical season averages: 35.6 minutes, 21.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.5 blocks, 48.4 FG%, 31.0 3PT%

Statistical averages, last week: 38.4 minutes, 23.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.8 blocks, 56.1 FG%, 30.0 3PT%

Advanced stats, season: 22.5 PER, 56.2 TS%, 27.4 USG%, 113 ORtg, 108 DRtg, 1.9 VORP

Notable: Towns was on pace for a monster game in the win over Dallas after scoring 20 points in the first half. He slowed down a bit the rest of the way, finishing with 34 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal. He now has nine straight double-doubles.

 

ANDREW WIGGINS (age 21, third season)

Statistical season averages: 36.8 minutes, 22.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks, 44.5 FG%, 35.0 3PT%

Statistical averages, last week: 37.9 minutes, 24.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 47.5 FG%, 36.4 3PT%

Advanced stats, season: 15.3 PER, 52.7 TS%, 28.0 USG%, 105 ORtg, 114 DRtg, -0.4 VORP

Notable: Wiggins scored 41 points in the loss to Washington, the second time this season he's gone for 40-plus. He went 16-for-30 from the field in that game, but came back to earth in the follow-up. He was held in check against Utah and Dallas, before shooting 11-for-20 and scoring 28 points in the win over Houston.

(note: For now we are leaving off Adreian Payne, who turns 26 in February. If he becomes a regular member of the rotation we might then include him.)

 

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

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.

 

Dave Heller is the author of the upcoming book Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth's Shadow as well as Facing Ted Williams Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns



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