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Canis Pulsus - Vol. 7 Results

Wolves get off academic probation with a 2.24 GPA at the 3 quarter mark!

How dare you think the Minnesota Timberwolves had nothing left to show this season! For those of you who are more seasoned Wolves fans, then you were likely prepared for this inevitable upswing when all things seemed lost. The rollercoaster of a season continues.

The last progress report of the season is in, before we get our final semester grades!

(Note: Canis Pulsus Vol. 7 data was collected by 4/22)

Karl-Anthony Towns

Miami Heat v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

A- (33.3%)

Average: A-

Previous grade: B (22.0%)

Just as many of us would’ve expected, Karl-Anthony Towns has steadily gotten back up to speed on the the basketball court. KAT bumped his grade up from a B to an A- and much of that credit should go to Coach Finch. That or...

Full voting results:

D’Angelo Russell

Minnesota Timberwolves v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

D (15.6%)

Average: Between C and C-

Previous grade: F (22.0%)

D’Angelo Russell’s “D” grade, believe it or not, is actually quite an increase from the “F” he had earned in Canis Pulsus Vol. 6. Even his average rose from the D area to the C range! Many of these grades were given out in the middle of his “6MOY” experiment and given his most recent performances, I think it’s only going to keep rising. If this recent stretch playing alongside KAT is any indication, then maybe this pairing might work after all!

Full voting results:

Ricky Rubio

Chicago Bulls v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

C (24.4%)

Average: Between C+ and C

Previous grade: C (22.0%)

La Pistola from El Masnou didn’t see his grade change too much. Overall, Ricky Rubio saw his average increase as he continues to start for the mighty Timberwolves. This has been such a strange year for him, among many others. Most of us here at Canis Hoopus are somewhere between reminiscing on his rookie days and having witnessed what he did for the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns, to lamenting the fact that our starting point guard, who’s earning $17M+ a year, is underperforming by his standards.

Full voting results:

Malik Beasley

Houston Rockets v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

B (26.7%)

Average: B

Previous grade: B+ (36.6%)

Malik Beasley’s grade didn’t change too much, as he’s been sidelined with a hamstring issue. He’s been a fairly vocal presence even during his hiatus so far, but I’ll be curious what his role will be moving forward.

Full voting results:

Anthony Edwards

Abandoned baby goat becomes a mascot of a foster family Photo by Sidar Can Eren/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

B+ (27.3%)

Average: Between B+ and B

Previous grade: B (22.5%)

Ants do get good grades!” - Dave Benz, in 2021 probably. Our baby GOAT is blossoming before our very eyes. I’m not surprised at his steadily climbing grades and won’t be as he continues ascending further into the A territory. No matter what the advanced numbers may say, it’s undeniable that his rise to superstardom is inevitable.

Full voting results:

Juancho Hernangomez

Minnesota Timberwolves v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

C- (34.1%)

Average: C-

Previous grade: F (31.7%)

He lives! Once deduced to a picture of an empty chair in our last report card edition, Juancho Hernangomez is back! Coach Finch has done wonders for many on this roster, but perhaps none more so than Hollywood Hernangomez. He’s gotten a second lease on the court and he has mostly taken advantage of it. Since Finch has been in town, Juancho’s averaging 7.0 PPG and 3.6 RPG in just 16 MPG. Just like that, he’s bumped his grade up from flat out “F” to a passing “C-”.

Full voting results:

Jarrett Culver

Seychelles in pictures Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

F (37.2%)

Average: Between D and D-

Previous grade: D (19.5%)

Sadly, Jarrett Culver is the only player who’s seen a full letter grade drop since Finch arrived. Previously at an already low “D” grade, Culver Island stock has plummeted as his newly earned “F” grade shows. Will some of us return one day to visit? If Wiggins Island is chalk full of Silicon Valley tourists in 2021, then there’s always hope.

Full voting results:

Ed Davis

Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Incomplete (40.0%)

Average: Between D+ and D

Previous grade: C (45.0%)

I don’t consider an “Incomplete” grade as a negative indicator, by any means. Ed Davis has played just 28 minutes since February 8th and although I’ve yet to hear of any cool locker room stories about how he’s the greatest teammate ever, we’ll forever have “COOK HIS A**!!!

Full voting results:

Jake Layman

Brooklyn Nets v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

C (40.9%)

Average: Between C and C-

Previous grade: C/C+ (24.4%)

Jake Layman will forever strike me as the prototypical “C” student. He seems to easily cruise his way to some sort of value, yet doesn’t ever seem to truly separate himself from the pack. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a lack of “want to,” but maybe more “inability to.” Whatever the case may be, I think we all enjoy ourselves some Jay Lay Lay in moderation.

Full voting results:

Josh Okogie

Minnesota Timberwolves v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

C (25.6%)

Average: Between C+ and C

Previous grade: D (26.8%)

Nonstop has entered the chat. Josh Okogie was once sitting alongside Culver in the deep waters of the bench, but Chris Finch’s confidence in him has seemingly paid off. Okogie may still be offensively challenged, despite a brief hot streak where he was shooting 9/18 from perimeter, but his defense seems to have stabilized into more consistent performances. The best part of all this may be the fact that it’s been a while since I heard an opposing team’s best player single him out in a post-game presser!

Full voting results:

Jaden McDaniels

Bulls v Heat

B (24.4%)

Average: Between A and A-

Previous grade: B (32.5%)

As Ant continues to fulfill his destiny to usurp Michael Jordan as the GOAT, Jaden McDaniels also marches towards becoming the best defender of all time. His “B” grade hasn’t changed, but his average grade was the highest of the entire progress report - higher than even KAT. Big Mac, at his current trajectory, is following in the footsteps of The Big Ticket.

Full voting results:

Jarred Vanderbilt

New York Knicks v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

B- (31.1%)

Average: B-

Previous grade: B (29.3%)

V8 continues to be a joy to watch. After a brief 8-game stretch where Jarred Vanderbilt only saw 7 total minutes of action, even Coach Finch knew that keeping him on the bench was a mistake. Jarred’s infectious energy kept him from suffering the same fate as his fellow Jarrett. Whether or not he’s a part of the long term plans moving forward or not, I’ll continue stanning him every night.

Full voting results:

Naz Reid

Minnesota Timberwolves v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

B+ (26.7%)

Average: B+

Previous grade: B+ (26.8%)

Just look at the brute force in the picture above, that is Naz Reid. His grade hardly changed from a few months ago, but that’s more a compliment of his consistency than it is an indictment of his growth. In fact, eye test definitely shows that he’s the future current MVP of the entire league. Cue the music!

Full voting results:

Jaylen Nowell

Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

B- (34.1%)

Average: Between B- and B

Previous grade: C (23.1%)

Poor Jaylen Nowell has also become victim to the injury bug. Unable to shake a nagging leg ailment, we’ve been robbed of seeing the impressive growth that he’s flashed earlier this season. Will he end up in the Malcolm Lee pantheon of Timberwolves characters who never got the opportunity to see their final form here? Or will he remerge like a phoenix from the ashes to save Minnesota?

Full voting results:

Jordan McLaughlin

Minnesota Timberwolves v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

C- (29.6%)

Average: C+

Previous grade: C (22.5%)

Jordan McLaughlin is hanging on by a thread. Although JMac is still a cult hero among Timberwolves fans across the world country state city, his performance has continued to tail off from what we’ve been used to seeing from G-League Jordan. He’s far from the worst performer on the team, but one has to wonder if his 10-day contracts days are limited moving forward.

Full voting results:

Coaching staff

Minnesota Timberwolves v Boston Celtics Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

B+ (31.1%)

Average: Between B+ and A-

Previous grade: Incomplete (32.5%)

Harvey Finchman saves. Although Coach Finch has guided the Timberwolves to just a 11-20 record, everything on the court points to an actual, you know... professional coach. He’s gotten his all-stars to buy-in to what he’s running while occasionally outcoaching teams that are much better than the Wolves are, record-wise. This includes unlikely wins against the Blazers, Suns, Heat, and league-best Utah Jazz (twice). Well guys, gals, and non-binary pals, it appears we got ourselves a real one!

Full voting results:

Front office

2020 NBA Draft Minnesota Timberwolves Team Operations Room Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

B-/C (40.0%)

Average: C+

Previous grade: D (31.7%)

Somehow Gersson Rosas & Co. have been able to jump from a “D/D+” grade up to a “B-/C” grade without making a single roster move. Chalk that up as yet just another miracle that Rosas has pulled out of thin air. The boosted grade we’re looking at now likely stems from the development of Ant, Jaden, and even the improved play of D’Lo. As they always say, we won’t know much about a GM’s tenure until 3 years into their tenure at minimum.

Full voting results:


Joe Biden Sworn In As 46th President Of The United States At U.S. Capitol Inauguration Ceremony Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

F (44.4%)

Average: D

Previous grade: F (61.0%)

I guess finally crawling towards a sale of the team helped Glen Taylor earn back 16.6% of Canis Hoopers. Once the news of Marc Lore & ARod broke, the Wolves have managed to play winning basketball. Go figure!

Full voting results:

What do you hope the Timberwolves achieve in the remaining quarter of the season the MOST?

Chicago Bulls v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

Integrate Ant/Jaden with KAT/D’Lo (35.4%)

With a wide range of answers from signing Lisa Simpson to play power forward, to learning how to use food dehydrators, we got a plethora of vintage Canis answers. However the overwhelming majority was to further integrate Jordan & Pippen Ant & Jaden with the KAT & D’Lo core moving forward. Rightfully so, we have already begun to see the fruits of that labor.

Full voting results:

Will the Timberwolves make the playoffs?

Washington Wizards v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

No (97.8%)

Previous grade: No (100%)

Sure, the Timberwolves may be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but there’s still 2% of voters who came out of the woodwork to wish our pups well. Maybe they were referencing future playoff berths, or maybe they were envisioning Adam Silver making a last minute rule change which will allow the top 14 teams from each conference to participate in the postseason. Either way: Optimism!

Full voting results:

With half the season over, my feelings on the direction of the Timberwolves are...

Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Slightly pessimistic (44.4%)

Previous grade: Very pessimistic (53.7%)

You can knock down the Timberwolves faithful, but you can’t keep them down. We’re all on Canis Hoopus because we’re suckers for punishment (and a good recipe) so the slight decrease in pessimism was to be expected. Is it for real this time? Or will we come crashing back down in our last quarter of games?

Full voting results:

Link to the full results:

2.24 GPA pushes Fincher-Wolves out of probation and back in good academic standing! We’ll return at the conclusion of the season for Canis Pulsus Vol. 8 - Final semester grades!