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Canis Pulsus - Vol. XVI Results

The New Wolves must have gotten some tutoring because their progress report is showing at least a 3.0.

If you had to describe this season in academic terms then it’s fairly obvious that the Minnesota Timberwolves season has just been a series of cumulative tests. Their grades, as a whole, have steadily climbed up and it appears they’re hitting their stride as we inch closer and closer towards finals week.

Let’s take a look at the 3rd quarter progress reports.

(Note: Canis Pulsus Vol. XIV data was collected through 3/4)


Karl-Anthony Towns

2022 NBA All-Star - MTN DEW 3-Point Contest Photo by Jeff Haynes /NBAE via Getty Images

A

Gm 42-61 Stats: 24.0 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 4.3 apg, 0.9 spg, 1.1 bpg, 33.6 mpg - .526/.383/.828
Previous grade: A-

What a quarter for Big KAT. He took home the 3-point champ title, played in his 3rd All-Star game, and most importantly helped lead the Wolves to a clear 7th seed position. His averages during this stretch certainly tell the tale of someone who bumped his grade up from an A- to an A. CH recognize game.

Full voting results:

D’Angelo Russell

Toronto Raptors v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

A-

Gm 42-61 Stats: 20.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 6.9 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.3 bpg, 30.9 mpg - .454/.356/.813
Previous grade: A-

D’Lo’s resurgence of a season continues. Russell did miss 4 games with a minor ankle sprain, but we are just starting to see the best version of him right after the All-Star break. I’m expecting this A- to go up in the final quarter.

Full voting results:

Taurean Prince

Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

B-

Gm 42-61 Stats: 7.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.3 bpg, 16.8 mpg - .536/.482/.786
Previous grade: C

The Sleeping Prince has awoken! Well, he’s putting his opponents to sleep with his deadly shooting from perimeter. Those smoldering percentages came with hard work and dedication as he was just waiting for his number to be called. TP has truly emerged as the leader of the bench mob.

Full voting results:

Malik Beasley

Toronto Raptors v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

C

Gm 42-61 Stats: 11.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.2 bpg, 21.0 mpg - .390/.389/.800
Previous grade: C-

The “Malik Beasley Ferris Wheel of Shooting” continues. His blistering performance from deep prior to the trade deadline may have secured his job in Minnesota for the rest of the season, but it didn’t take long for him to hit another valley. He still saw his grade increase from a C- to a C, and I’m willing to bet that his most recent historic stretch of shooting boosts that even further up by season’s end.

Full voting results:

Anthony Edwards

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

B+

Gm 42-61 Stats: 19.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.8 bpg, 33.1 mpg - .408/.305/.738
Previous grade: A-

It was a rough quarter for Black Jesus. He clearly had a knee tendinitis (Which our Lucas Seehafer does a great job detailing here) which hampered him for quite some time. Though he finally gave it the rest that it needed, he still led the Wolves to a couple W’s by dropping 40-point and 37-point performances.

Full voting results:

Patrick Beverley

Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

A-

Gm 42-61 Stats: 8.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.9 bpg, 25.7 mpg - .355/.358/.686
Previous grade: A

Just like his other backcourt mates, Pat Bev missed a number of games this quarter (6). As a result, his contributions weren’t as noticeable. That said, it’s hard not to give Mr. 94 Feet anything less than an A- as he continues to be the cultural and vocal leader.

Full voting results:

Jarred Vanderbilt

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

A

Gm 42-61 Stats: 7.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.6 bpg, 26.6 mpg - .625/.000/.636
Previous grade: A+

Vando’s grade dropped from an A+ to an A largely because of his slight decline on the court. His energy noticeably dipped in the 3rd quarter of the season and he has finally been given an opportunity to rest. Hopefully he closes the season strong.

Full voting results:

Josh Okogie

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

Incomplete

Gm 42-61 Stats: 1.8 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 0.1 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.1 bpg, 7.3 mpg - .300/.333/.750
Previous grade: C

JO played a grand total of 57 minutes during this stretch, not enough for Canis to give him a complete grade. Tough sledding for Nonstop.

Full voting results:

Jake Layman

Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Incomplete

Gm 42-61 Stats: 0.7 ppg, 0.2 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.2 spg, 0.2 bpg, 3.0 mpg - .400/.000/-
Previous grade: D+

Jake got even less minutes that JO with about 17 minutes during this 20 game span. Maybe the “Jake Layman Birthday Game” will be enough to garner some better grades next time.

Full voting results:

Leandro Bolmaro

Iowa Wolves v Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Incomplete

Gm 42-61 Stats: 11.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.2 bpg, 21.0 mpg - .390/.389/.800
Previous grade: D+

Bolmaro’s 3 total minutes makes Layman’s 17 minutes look like he was a starter. He’s been thriving with the Iowa Wolves and hopefully will get another shot at spot minutes by the end of the season.

Full voting results:

Jaden McDaniels

2022 NBA All-Star - Clorox NBA Rising Stars Practice Photo by Lauren Bacho/NBAE via Getty Images

B+

Gm 42-61 Stats: 10.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.9 bpg, 25.2 mpg - .488/.311/.769
Previous grade: B

Big Mac’s been trending up in a huge way lately. He’s showing much more potential than just as a lanky 3&D menace, generating some awesome highlights with his underrated handle. If he continues on this trajectory heading into the final stretch of games then he just might be up for MVP consideration soon.

Full voting results:

Naz Reid

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

C+

Gm 42-61 Stats: 6.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.3 spg, 1.3 bpg, 14.5 mpg - .489/.357/.788
Previous grade: B-

Naz had a rough patch early in 2022. There were times many of us here at CH were questioning whether or not he deserved rotation minutes if the Wolves wanted to remain competitive. Fortunately for him, Sachin Gupta decided the right move for a backup big wasn’t available and decided to the roll the dice with Naz. He’s been playing lights out lately and I’m sure his grade will be improving by the next report card.

Full voting results:

Jaylen Nowell

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

B

Gm 42-61 Stats: 7.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.2 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.1 bpg, 16.6 mpg - .451/.405/.783
Previous grade: B+

Jaylen had a great stretch earlier in the season, yet to seemingly no fault of his own, saw a tip in playing time. That’s what happens when you’re on a deep team though. We’ve seen a bit more out of him recently and his time will surely come again soon.

Full voting results:

Jordan McLaughlin

Minnesota Timberwolves v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

B

Gm 42-61 Stats: 4.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.2 bpg, 15.4 mpg - .510/.286/.889
Previous grade: D+

G-League Jordan saw a big uptick in playing time and he absolutely took advantage of it. He went on an incredible spree dishing the rock without turning it over, giving us Tyus Jones flashbacks. JMac received the biggest bump in grade by the Canis faithful, deservedly so.

Full voting results:

Nathan Knight

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

Incomplete

Gm 42-61 Stats: 1.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.0 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.0 bpg, 2.0 mpg - .273/.000/.800
Previous grade: C+

Nathan Knight played just 7 games in this stretch. It will be intriguing to see if the coaching staff trusts him with a larger role as we finish the season. The Wolves are noticeable thin (and short) in their frontcourt rotation and although Nate might not be a bruiser, he could still prove himself useful.

Full voting results:

McKinley Wright IV

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

Incomplete

Gm 42-61 Stats: 1.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.0 spg, 0.0 bpg, 2.2 mpg - .500/.000/-
Previous grade: Incomplete

The pride of Champlin, Minnesota only received 2 games of garbage time action. The undersized point guard has shown a lot of promise in the G-league and it’s unlikely that he will be in the rotation for the main squad. Regardless, it’ll still be fun monitoring his progress with the Iowa Wolves.

Full voting results:

Coaching staff

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

A

Gm 42-61 Record: 12-8
Previous grade: A

Coach Chris Finch and his staff have continued to exceed expectations this season. Will we see any Coach of the Year honors? He has the previously anemic offense absolutely humming at an efficient and effective rate now. The defense has regressed a bit, some of it due to personnel available, but it’s still performing admirably. Finch just recently became the second full-time head coach in Timberwolves history to earn an all-time .500 record or better.

Full voting results:

Front office

AP Photo/Matthew Hinton

B+

Previous grade: Incomplete

Unlike I did with my fantasy team, Sachin Gupta & Co. restrained from any urges to tinker with his roster and it has, for the most part, worked out well. There were murmurs of Josh Richardson, Marcus Smart, Montrezl Harrell, and a few other names, but nothing came to fruition. Sometimes the best move is no move.

Full voting results:

Ownership

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

B-

Previous grade: B-

Not much to say here. They haven’t been in the news so that’s a good!

Full voting results:

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

Charlotte Hornets v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Win as much as possible (65%)

Previous grade: Win as much as possible (86%)

The “Win as much as possible” crowd grew just a little quieter this quarter. With Ant, Vando, and a few other players banged up, we saw 10% of the Canis comments section wish for rest at the cost of pushing for the 6th seed. However, it appears as though Minnesota has moved forward with both the “Win as much as possible” and “Focus on getting healthy” options. Bold strategy.

Full voting results:

Will the Timberwolves make the play-in tournament?

Yes (100%)

Previous Result: Yes (100%)

No change here. I still can’t believe with as little roster turnover as there was between the ‘20-’21 and ‘21-’22 teams that this iteration of the Wolves are winning at the pace that they are.

Full voting results:

Will the Timberwolves make the playoffs?

Yes (80%)

Previous grade: Yes (87%)

A slight decline in faith here. Maybe it was a look at our injury reports. Maybe it was the intimidation of a re-tooled New Orleans Pelicans team. Whatever the case, the Wolves are still in prime position to earn a postseason berth.

Full voting results:

With 3/4 of the season over, my feelings on the direction of the Timberwolves are...

Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Slightly optimistic (55.0%)

Previous grade: Very optimistic (48.4%)

CH is still optimistic, though slightly less than at the halfway point of the season. It still makes me happy to see that there were 0 votes in any of the pessimistic options. It a season full of surprises, this may be the biggest result so far!

Full voting results:

Link to the full results: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14tJjffX8eRL62thyaIsoKPjxUf7oZt33pgrAknCG1RA/edit?usp=sharing


All-in-all, with a few low grades turned “Incomplete” and a few positive bumps for our role players, the Wolves grade point average has shot up to a 3.21! That is a huge increase from the 2.75 GPA at the end of the 1st semester. Honor roll, here we come!