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Canis Pulsus - Vol. XIV Results

First semester grades are finally in and the Wolves earn themselves a 2.75 GPA.

We asked for your grades for the Minnesota Timberwolves after the halfway mark of the season, and you delivered! The Wolves were sitting just under .500, so let’s see what grades they earned.

It’s time for the 1st semester report cards!

(Note: Canis Pulsus Vol. XIV data was collected through 1/14)


Karl-Anthony Towns

Minnesota Timberwolves v Houston Rockets Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

A-

Previous grade: B+

KAT’s averages from the first 20 games of the season were 23.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 3.3 apg, and 2.3 stocks per game. He didn’t miss a single game during that period. In the next 21 games, his averages jumped to 26.8 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 4.4 apg, and 2.3 stocks per game while missing 7 games due to a minor back injury & COVID. That could be why we saw his grade jump from a B+ to an A-. At this trajectory, I’m excited to see how his averages increase within this next quarter of the season.

Full voting results:

D’Angelo Russell

Oklahoma City Thunder v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images

A-

Previous grade: B+

D’Lo’s emergence as a defensive captain is a storyline that I would have never believed. This was uploaded a while ago, but Thinking Basketball’s video on the Wolves defense is certainly an interesting watch. It has become fairly obvious that this iteration of the Wolves need Russell’s presence on the court in order to maintain a true competitive edge in almost every game.

Full voting results:

Taurean Prince

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets

C

Previous grade: C

No change in grade for TP. He’s had a few strong showings that are usually followed by 2-3 games of quiet efforts. For someone who is earning $13 million, you would hope for more production. The unrestricted free agent has another half of the season to prove his worth.

Full voting results:

Malik Beasley

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

C-

Previous grade: C+

It feels like Malik is one cold streak away from seeing himself sitting next to Coach Finch on the bench for a significant amount of time. He’s already drawn the ire of the fanbase with his inconsistent shooting despite getting spoon fed quality looks from perimeter. It feels like Beasley’s name has come up the most in Wolves trade rumors, but whether or not he’s going to be viewed as a positive or negative asset will depend on if his shot’s dropping.

Full voting results:

Anthony Edwards

Minnesota Timberwolves v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

A-

Previous grade: A-

The future NBA MVP has continued to show success on and off the basketball court. His 1st quarter of the season shooting splits jumped from .431/.347/.750 to .456/.411/.857 in the next quarter. The improved efficiency is a yet another reason for optimism for Ant’s season and career trajectory.

Full voting results:

Patrick Beverley

Minnesota Timberwolves v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

A

Previous grade: A

No change here for Mr. 94 Feet. His intensity and leadership have not disappointed and it’s clear that the Canis Hoopus faithful appreciates what he brings. You hear that, Clippers??

Full voting results:

Jarred Vanderbilt

Minnesota Timberwolves v Houston Rockets Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

A+

Previous grade: A

Vando continues to break barriers this season. Not only has he come into his own as an ultimate energy guy that is pairing perfectly with the rest of the starters, but he becomes the first player to ever to earn an average “A+” grade on Canis Pulsus! We will be sending him a personalized certificate acknowledging this amazing feat so that he can put it up on his refrigerator.

Full voting results:

Josh Okogie

Indiana Pacers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

C

Previous grade: C+

It seems like with each passing day, Nonstop appears to be doing the opposite of his nickname, as he’s quickly sinking into the quicksand of “little used role player,” as opposed to rising towards “consistent rotation player.” Okogie still seems to hold some value to Finch as a point-of-attack defender, but it really does feel like his days of launching 3’s and trying to create off the dribble are over. That’s probably for the best, for basketball reasons, but unfortunate for his future development. We’ll always have the memories, JO.

Full voting results:

Jake Layman

Memphis Grizzlies v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

D+

Previous grade: Incomplete

How did Jake Layman jump from an “Incomplete” grade to a “D+”? From games 20-41, he’s only played in 11 games and limped around with .389/.150/.750 shooting splits on just 11 minutes per game. Most of that is in garbage time and even then his +/- has been an average of -2.5. Well, hopefully he’ll bless us with a skying dunk or two before his tenure with the Wolves is over.

Full voting results:

Leandro Bolmaro

Cleveland Cavaliers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

D+

Previous grade: C+

It’s no surprise to me that once we learned Leandro prefers to go by “Lea” as opposed to “Leo,” his production has crashed and burned. He’s most recently been regulated back to the Iowa Wolves squad which is probably a good thing. Lea was really cooking down there and it’s probably wise to get his confidence back up. And no, I am never letting this name thing go.

Full voting results:

Jaden McDaniels

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

B

Previous grade: B-

It’s been somewhat of a see-saw season for Big Mac. The chances of him actualizing his “potential” seem murkier than ever, but it’s still clear that he has plenty to offer even for this season. Jaden trending up after his horrid start to the season, stringing together a number of double-digit scoring efforts mixed with less fouling. The coaching staff hasn’t given up on his development and neither have the CH faithful.

Full voting results:

Naz Reid

Minnesota Timberwolves v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

B-

Previous grade: B+

Unlike Big Mac, Naz has had a rougher go at his 2nd quarter of the season. The future is still in Naz’s hands, but will that future be as a streaky scorer off the bench who offers little on the defensive end, or will he continue rounding out his game into a full-time quality backup big.

Full voting results:

Jaylen Nowell

Oklahoma City Thunder v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images

B+

Previous grade: Incomplete

The Jaylen Nowell coming out party has been one of the best storylines of the seasons. We saw glimpses of this last season before a leg injury set him back. He started this season playing just 8 out of the first 20 games, but has increased that to 17 of the last 21. Mr. Big Tymah has firmly established himself as perhaps the most important sub on the team, efficiently scoring as evidenced by his 47.3 FG%.

Full voting results:

Jordan McLaughlin

Los Angeles Clippers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

D+

Previous grade: D+

JMac has seen his role continue to shrink as the season continues. Aside from a decent showing in a home win against the Boston Celtics, he has barely played more than 20 minutes in a single game and only sees the court every other game now. There’s still a lot of season left, but his future on the team looks to be on thin ice as well.

Full voting results:

Nathan Knight

Boston Celtics v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

C+

Previous grade: Incomplete

The Dark Knight™ likely earned his “C+” grade based on the 6-game stretch while KAT was out due to COVID. He averaged 7.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 0.7 blocks on 18.9 minutes per game and showcased his bruising force in the low post. The 24-year-old is intriguing as an off-speed big man who can hopefully continue to stay prepared in case things get wild in the next half of the season.

Full voting results:

McKinley Wright IV

Iowa Wolves v Motor City Cruise Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Incomplete

Previous grade: Incomplete

McKinley Wright IV went from 1 game played in the first 20 seasons of the game, to 0 in the next 21 games. He’s still an intriguing prospect who’s averaging 19.3 points, 4.5, rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.5 blocks on .476/.400/.892 splits for the Iowa Wolves (12 game sample size).

Full voting results:

Coaching staff

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

A

Previous grade: A-

We are halfway through the season and the Timberwolves are sitting at 10th in defensive rating. Not 10th in the West. Not 10th in the last 5 games. Not 10th when all the starters are healthy. 10th OVERALL. That is amazing. Meanwhile, the offensive rating has begun to slowly climb up as well, currently sitting at 20th in the league. That combines to put the Wolves 13th in the league in NETRTG which is a testament to what Coach Finch and his staff have done thus far. 1 million Hoopus Points to them!

Full voting results:

Front office

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

Incomplete

Previous grade: Incomplete

The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching (February 10th) and much has been made of GM Sachin Gupta’s desire to improve the team long-term. Not only am I very intrigued to see what Gupta does or doesn’t do in the coming weeks, but the reaction of the CH hivemind.

Full voting results:

Ownership

Minnesota Timberwolves v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

B-

Previous grade: B

As long as they keep showing up, avoid tinkering, and keep the team in Minnesota, I guess we can’t complain, right? Lore & ARod made their “first move” by bringing in Marquise Watts as Chief Experience Officer (CXO), focused on the player experience. Time will tell if this has any lasting affect on the team, but bringing in someone with deep connections to LeBron James/Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports could be a good thing. For fun, here’s a list of NBA players who is a part of that agency.

Full voting results:

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

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

Win as much as possible (86%)

Previous grade: Win as much as possible (70%)

Not much change here. The focus to win remains as important as ever, as the Wolves sniff closer and closer to a play-in/play-off berth!

Full voting results:

Will the Timberwolves make the play-in tournament?

Yes (100%)

Previous Result: Yes (92%)

According to the CH comments section, there is a 0% chance that the Wolves miss the play-in tournament (Assuming making the playoffs as a 6th seed as an exemption). In the 0% chance that happens, that would mean at least 1 of the Rockets, Thunder, Pelicans, Spurs, Kings, or Trailblazers have leapfrogged them in the standings. As Kevin Garnett once said, “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE EXCEPT THE 2022 WOLVES MISSING THE PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT!!!!!!!!!!!

Full voting results:

Will the Timberwolves make the playoffs?

Yes (87%)

Previous grade: Yes (77%)

The Wolves are jockeying for a 6th-9th seed in the Western Conference, with an outside chance to land in the 5th or 10th spot. Will The New Wolves continue to get better with time, or will their inexperience begin to show as they slip out of clinching a playoff spot, whether in the play-in tournament or not? There will certainly be some scoreboard watching in the 2nd half of the season.

Full voting results:

With 1/2 of the season over, my feelings on the direction of the Timberwolves are...

Houston Rockets v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images

Very optimistic (48.4%)

Previous grade: Slightly optimistic (49.1%)

It was a near 50-50 split between “Very Optimistic” and “Slightly Optimistic” last progress report, and this time around it is exactly a 50-50 split. Tie goes to optimism! Shoutout to the one “Neutral” grader.

Full voting results:

Link to the full results: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-L2McvR4UKmWLAkB60s2hkMJwo6yAj5zB1geDFO9sQs/edit?usp=sharing


At the end of the semester, the Wolves finish with a 2.75 GPA which is a slight decline to the 2.86 they earned during their 1st quarter progress report. What will the next quarter bring? Will you be bringing snacks to the Wolves study group?