Let’s get this out of the means straight away — I’m a stat junkie. I experience taking a look at other numbers and measurements whilst realizing that statistics best inform a portion of the tale that effects in both the luck or failure of a group all through the 12 months.
With that stated, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ five-game preseason pattern measurement from the Minnesota Timberwolves equipped a possibility to begin to dive into a few of the stats and numbers of this 12 months’s group on each ends of the flooring. With a new-look roster, it was once going to be attention-grabbing to peer how the group modified its taste of play and which spaces of the sport they’d fortify or take a step again in throughout the 2022-23 marketing campaign.
Now with the preseason over, let’s have a look again at only a few statistics and issues that stood out in the small pattern measurement put ahead by means of the group. With the video games being simply that — preseason video games — it’s onerous to totally learn into how the efficiency noticed throughout the preseason will elevate over the common season, however that’s all we now have presently till the video games to kick off the new 12 months get underway this week.
Playing High Pace Continues
A season in the past, the Wolves have been a group that performed one in every of the easiest paces offensively amongst any group in the NBA. Minnesota completed with a tempo dimension — the collection of possessions a group sees consistent with sport — of 101.47 which led the league.
In the 5 preseason video games, that contemporary development endured for Minnesota, enjoying with a tempo of 108.5 all through the handful of video games. That ranked 2d in the NBA at the back of best the Los Angeles Lakers with a tempo of 108.58.
For a group that has completed at or close to the height of the league in offensive manufacturing and issues consistent with sport, particularly completing as the NBA’s top-scoring offense a 12 months in the past, it isn’t a wonder to peer that tempo dimension again close to the height of the league. Minnesota has the talent to attain early and frequently, and it seems like it’s going to as soon as once more function a high-paced taste of play on that finish of the flooring as soon as once more.
Signs of Defensive Improvement
In 5 video games, something that stood out was once Minnesota’s early indicators of development on protection.
During the preseason, the Wolves completed with a Defensive Rating of 101.7 in 5 video games, which ranked Tenth amongst NBA groups. A season in the past, Minnesota completed thirteenth in the identical class with a score of 111.0 over the 82-game common season. The Wolves additionally gave up 110.4 issues (sixteenth in NBA) whilst restricted opposing groups to taking pictures 41.8 % (5th in NBA) from the box and 30.3 % from 3 (8th in NBA).
Obviously the likes of Rudy Gobert will assist on protection this 12 months, in addition to the different additions made this offseason. The Wolves also are hoping the avid gamers who’ve carried over from remaining 12 months equivalent to Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell, Jaden McDaniels and others will proceed to fortify defensively in 2022-23.
How the protection seems to be and evolves all through the common season with moderately of a new-look roster is but to be decided, however the Wolves confirmed some great flashes throughout the preseason to create optimism for endured development when the “real games” start.
Use of the Bench
It’s no longer unusual to peer avid gamers decrease on the roster and items who will serve essentially in bench roles see a longer period of time on the court docket in the preseason. Teams aren’t going to wear down their starters in the preseason and likewise wish to see avid gamers on the fringe of constructing the roster somewhat extra throughout the video games.
When it involves the use of Minnesota’s bench this preseason, that crew performed a mean of 24.1 mins consistent with sport, which ranked twenty sixth in the NBA. In that point on the court docket, the bench unit made the maximum of the ones mins whilst averaging 54 issues as a bunch consistent with sport (twelfth in the NBA).
In the common season in 2021-22, the Wolves’ 2d unit logged 18.4 mins consistent with sport (Tenth-most in NBA) whilst averaging 38.7 issues consistent with sport (eighth-most in NBA). As extra of a right away comparability year-over-year, Minnesota’s bench averaged 26.4 mins (ninth in NBA) with 59.3 issues consistent with sport (fourth in NBA) in 4 preseason video games in 2021-22.
Obviously mins and manufacturing from the 2d unit will building up every postseason and can in the end be upper than they’ll be in the common season, nevertheless it’s price noting the use of the bench may lower somewhat this 12 months even though that intensity might be an important side to the group down the stretch of the 12 months and in the postseason when issues subject maximum.
Amount of Shots From the Field and Deep
A season in the past, Minnesota was once a group that no longer best post a number of issues on a nightly foundation but in addition post a ton of shot makes an attempt each from the box and from 3 (sure, I remember the fact that’s the way you in reality ranking the ones issues, however nonetheless). With a couple of new items on the roster, particularly the submit presence of Gobert, it was once attention-grabbing to peer how Minnesota would trade that mindset offensively, if in any respect.
In 2021-22, the Wolves completed 5th in the NBA in box objectives tried (91.0), managing to attach on 45.7 % of pictures which was once twenty second in the league. From 3, Minnesota led the league with 14.8 threes consistent with sport on 41.3 makes an attempt, throwing up pictures from deep early and frequently.
In the preseason this 12 months, the Wolves took a step again in the collection of pictures taken each from the box in normal and from 3 over the 5 contests. They completed with 89.8 box objectives tried (14th in NBA), even though they did attach on 46.1 % of the ones makes an attempt which was once the eighth-best mark in the league. From 3, Minnesota tried 34.8 pictures (nineteenth in NBA) from past the arc in 5 video games, changing on 11.4 threes consistent with sport (18th in NBA).
The little bit of a shift year-over-year in the ones two classes may well be because of the new staff on the group and the Wolves most likely taking a look to paintings issues within out reasonably than focal point on the deep ball like they did in 2021-22. Minnesota will nonetheless get its pictures each from the box and from 3 this season, however it’s beginning to shift the place and the way the ones pictures happen which isn’t that unexpected given the appearance of the roster.
Not best did the Wolves stand out in a couple of spaces statistically, however in addition they controlled to complete with a just about undefeated report in the preseason. Minnesota had a possibility to conclude the handful of exhibition video games with a really perfect 5-0 report, however in the end fell in the preseason finale Friday after successful the first 4 video games.
Although it’s onerous to learn too a ways into the win-loss effects in the preseason, the Wolves do have a contemporary historical past of robust preseason play sporting over into the common season. In the remaining six seasons, Minnesota has completed with a successful report in the preseason thrice (together with this 12 months). When doing so, the Wolves have long gone on to succeed in the playoffs at the finish of the common season. They hope that development continues in 2022-23 after a robust preseason efficiency.
The preseason was once a luck for the Wolves, however it’s in the end over. Now, the actual video games tip off this week with the common season opener in opposition to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday at Target Center. As at all times, the workforce right here at Canis Hoopus could have you lined all season lengthy with content material all through what’s one in every of the extra expected Wolves seasons in contemporary historical past.