We’re already at the point in the season where writing about the Minnesota Timberwolves every week can be exhausting.
What do you say about a team that is 6-17? Of course, you’d love to have Karl-Anthony Towns back. That’s the only glimmer of hope we’re holding on to. The Wolves will be better when he returns, but as we approach the halfway point in the season, it’s hard to think of a worse way 2020-21 could have started for Minnesota.
Instead of looking at what’s next or who is or isn’t performing well, let’s take a look around the league and see how some of our old friends are doing.
What a season LaVine is having.
We’ll always wonder what could have been in Minnesota, and for good reason. The Wolves definitely should have traded Andrew Wiggins instead of LaVine for Jimmy Butler, but that wasn’t so obvious at the time. LaVine was coming off a torn ACL and was a year away from a new contract.
In LaVine’s seventh season (how is it his seventh season?!), he’s putting up career-high numbers across the board: 27 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 5.3 APG, 51.2 FG%, 41 3P%, and 87.2 FT%. He has a real chance to hit the 50/40/90 mark.
There are many “good stats, bad teams” guys out there, but don’t put LaVine in that group. This is one of the best offensive players in the NBA. Right now, the Bulls are one game back from the play-in tournament 10th seed. As a huge LaVine fan, I can’t think of anything better than watching him take over offensively in a do-or-die game.
At first glance, Wiggins’ stat line looks pretty familiar: 17.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.1 APG.
But when you dive into his efficiency, you’ll understand why Wiggins is getting more national love. His 47.3 field goal and 38.7 three-point percentages are both career highs. His effective field goal percentage of 54.2% is nearly 4% higher than his previous career-best. We’re not seeing those familiar 6-for-23 games from Wiggins with the Golden State Warriors.
Wiggins is never going to be the top guy on a team, but he’s being put in a position to succeed in San Francisco. Certainly playing alongside Steph Curry helps any player offensively.
If Wiggins looks like he’s more engaged, maybe that’s just because he is. It turns out that players care more when they are playing meaningful games. Who knew?!
Covington is probably underperforming in his first season in Portland. His 34.2 FG% and 30.6 3P% are both career lows.
Covington is going to constantly be one of those “overrated until he’s underrated” and “underrated until he’s overrated” guys. We know he’s an excellent defender who is a great culture fit for every team. We also know that he’s not a consistent shooter and shouldn’t dribble unless he’s going straight to the basket.
If the Portland Trail Blazers make the playoffs, we’ll see Covington make huge plays on the national stage, which will remind all of us why he’s been so coveted around the league for the last three or four years.
Let’s give the Wolves some credit on getting what looks like a great return back for Covington in last year’s trade. To get Malik Beasley and a first-round pick for him looks like a huge win. I’ll admit that I didn’t initially love the Beasley signing this offseason (the off-the-court stuff still worries me). Still, he’s been one of the only positives on this team so far and has been a better player than D’Angelo Russell, which is great and horrible for the Wolves at the same time.