Wolves After 21

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

We take a look at the Minnesota Timberwolves after 21 games

Remember 10 games ago? Neither do we, but here it was.

After 11 games your favorite professional basketball team was plagued by injuries and horrendous shooting, especially from the great beyond.

The best performers were Andrei Kirilenko, Chase Budinger, and Kevin Love. The team was 5-6. Injuries were everywhere. Things could have been better.

After 21 games, your favorite professional basketball team is somewhat less plagued by injuries and horrible shooting and it sits at 12-9 with the 2nd best record in the Northwest Division. What has happened? Let's take a look-see.

First, here's the team after 11:

Team and Opponent Stats

G MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS PTS/G
Team 12 2880 401 948 .423 61 220 .277 237 326 .727 154 367 521 251 96 81 180 231 1100 91.7
Lg Rank 23 27 25 26 29 23 30 10 8 24 11 20 15 22 20 8 10 24 25 26
Opponent 12 2880 426 980 .435 76 217 .350 186 242 .769 138 356 494 223 76 67 174 284 1114 92.8
Lg Rank 23 8 9 6 9 8 16 5 5 20 13 5 8 3 3 14 26 24 8 4

Now after 21:

Team and Opponent Stats

G MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS PTS/G
Team 21 5065 738 1700 .434 119 400 .298 417 574 .726 284 669 953 456 180 128 327 391 2012 95.8
Lg Rank 28 29 29 22 28 24 30 8 7 27 8 22 17 25 18 13 10 29 29 20
Opponent 21 5065 763 1731 .441 132 386 .342 309 415 .745 230 621 851 423 161 122 312 490 1967 93.7
Lg Rank 28 4 5 11 3 5 7 1 2 9 4 5 3 3 6 16 27 22 2 4

Not much stands out other than that the Wolves have been the beneficiaries of opposing teams simply deciding to stop making a lot of free throws. I don't know how much defense you can play at the line, but the Wolves are certainly benefiting from it. Throw in their upper-eschalon free throw taking capabilities and we're still left where we were after 11 games: The Wolves win and play well because of free throws. Not much has changed.

Beyond the free throws, there has been some fun at the individual level.

Differences_medium

OK, the above chart lists the differences between games 1-11 and 12-21. What can we take away from the last 10 games? Kevin Love had one of the worst 10 game stretches of his career and the Wolves ended up with a 7-3 record while getting Ricky Rubio back into the lineup. Hooray!

Meanwhile, Alexey Shved began to assert himself as a starting two guard and Pek started to play like Pek again.

If Kevin Love starts playing like he is capable of, and if Shved is for real, and if Pek continues his recent play...oi. Just imagine how crazy it will be when Bud gets back. Until then, the last 10 games provided the Wolves with a winning record, their franchise point guard, a renewed Pek...and one of the worst 10 game stretches from their best player that we're likely to see.

The next 10 games will see an improved quality of opponent. Will the Wolves respond? Will Love play up to his abilities? Will Pek continue his trajectory towards last year's Pek?

We shall see. We shall see.

Back to moving and until later.

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