Progress Reports for Minnesota Timberwolves Newcomers

The 10-game sample size may be small, but the Minnesota Timberwolves newcomers have underperformed. 

The Wolves acquired Anthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young and Andrew Wiggins in the blockbuster trade of the summer. They also added depth at the point by drafting Zach LaVine and signing veteran Mo Williams.

These offseason acquisitions put the Wolves in a weird limbo between winning now with skillful veterans and looking to rebuild around a young core. 

So far this season, the younger players have been unable to live up to expectations, and the veterans on this team have underperformed offensively. 

These new Wolves haven’t been in the pack for long, but Judgment Day is upon them.

OK, it’s only a progress report.

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New York Knicks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis

The New York Knicks will look to rebound from a heartbreaking Tuesday night loss to the Milwaukee Bucks when they take on the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center Wednesday night.

Down by 26 points in the third quarter, the Knicks rallied to trim the Bucks’ lead to two late in the fourth quarter. However, Milwaukee made its free throws down the stretch to put New York away for good.

The Knicks may catch a break against the Timberwolves, however, as Minnesota is extremely short-handed.

Already without Ricky Rubio (ankle), the Wolves will also be missing Nikola Pekovic (wrist) and Thaddeus Young (personal leave), per Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.

The Timberwolves have lost five straight games and have lost their last three home meetings with New York.

Catch all of the action at 8 p.m. ET on either MSG or Fox Sports North.

Be sure to keep it right here as Bleacher Report provides you with live coverage throughout the game.

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Minnesota Timberwolves: Five reasons Shabazz Muhammad needs more minutes

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a young roster with a lot of potential, and one of these players is Shabazz Muhammad. This is Muhammad’s second season with the team, after he was drafted out of UCLA in the first round. However, even though Muhammad is a young player on a team that is rebuilding, he still isn’t getting much playing time.
Shabazz Muhammad
Part of the reason for this is that he plays the same position as Andrew Wiggins, who the Timberwolves are trying to get as many minutes as possible so he can refine his game. However, Muhammad should still be getting playing time, as he continues to look good whenever he is in.
Here are the five reasons Muhammad should see more minutes:
1) Muhammad worked hard all summer to improve with an intense conditioning program and he continues to hustle his tail off whenever he is in. Even when Muhammad isn’t playing his best, he still has a positive impact on the floor, as he makes the hustle plays, whether it is going for a loose ball or drawing a charge.
2)

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6 Best Trade Destinations for Minnesota Timberwolves’ Corey Brewer

Corey Brewer may not be with the Minnesota Timberwolves for too much longer. 

“The Minnesota Timberwolves, fresh off heavy back-to-back losses in New Orleans and Dallas and in the latest indication of their growing focus on the future, are in active trade discussions with multiple contending teams pursuing veteran swingman Corey Brewer, according to league sources,” reports ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, revealing the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets have emerged as the primary suitors for the 28-year-old’s services. 

So long as the Wolves can receive future assets in return, it makes sense for them to shop Brewer. After all, trading him would free up minutes for the many young players on Minnesota’s roster, as well as clear the books a bit and save the organization some money. It’s Shabazz Muhammad, Glenn Robinson III, Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins who are the future of this franchise on the wings after all. 

Brewer, a small forward who can also play the 2, is averaging 9.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.7 steals through nine outings in 2014-15, but it’s production that would be best utilized by a different team. Plus, we know he can do more when he’s not playing behind Wiggins and receiving only 22.9 minutes per game.

Chances are, Brewer will be dealt to a contender in need of some perimeter defense and transition offense, if he’s moved at all. But which squads present the best fit for his talents?

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Minnesota Timberwolves: Wrapping up an abysmal week for the team

This past road trip was very bad for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Technically, this road trip was broken up by a home game, but that game was held in Mexico, so really the Timberwolves have had six straight away games, and only managed to pull away one win from their long road trip.
The worst part of this road trip was definitely this week, as the Timberwolves went 0-3, losing by an average of about 24 points. Additionally, against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Timberwolves set a franchise record for the most lopsided loss in franchise history, as they lost by 48 points.
The Timberwolves terrible recent stretch is a result of injury, youth, inconsistent offense and horrible defense. Ricky Rubio’s injury continues to really limit the team’s ability to run an effective offense. Also, these last few games the Timberwolves haven’t had Thaddeus Young because his mom died and he is dealing with her death with his family. Young’s absence takes away a veteran presence and one of their main scorers, which is an

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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks 11/15/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Dallas Mavericks looked to continue their recent run of success on Saturday night when they took on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The sharpshooting Mavs had won two straight and three of their last four, and faced a reeling T-Wolves squad that had dropped four straight.

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Minnesota Timberwolves vs New Orleans Pelicans 11/14/14: Video Highlights, Recap

The red-hot New Orleans Pelicans looked to continue their recent run of success on Friday when they took on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Pelicans had won three of their last four games to move to over .500 for the season, but Anthony Davis and company faced a tricky test from a young T-Wolves squad eager to end a three-game skid.

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No. 8 Louisville beats Minnesota 81-68 (Yahoo Sports)

Louisville's Montrelz Harrell holds up his team's trophy after winning the NCAA college basketball Armed Forces Classic at the United States Coast Guard Air Station base in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. Louisville defeated Minnesota 81-60. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico (AP) — Rick Pitino proved he could have another title contender at Louisville. He just regrets it had to be at the expense of his son’s team.


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Freshman Nate Mason Impressive in Minnesota Loss to Louisville

It was a tough match first up for Minnesota, as they went down 81-68 to Louisville in the Armed Forces Classic. There were a number of positives to take away, though: the strong start, a furious comeback, the predictably outstanding Andre Hollins and a solid debut from freshman guard Nate Mason.

Mason was impressive coming off the bench, contributing 10 points, five rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes.

It did not take long for him to catch the eye, either. After receiving the ball in transition, he took the ball confidently to the hoop, making use of some elegant footwork to step around his man and finish the play.

He did not stop there. The second-half saw him finish in transition once more, while a willingness to put the ball on the ground in the half court helped him get to the line five times. It was an extremely positive start to what promises to be a good collegiate career.

Mason looked comfortable handling the ball, often being made to work hard getting it up the floor by his outstandingly quick opponent, Chris Jones. Yet he handled the pressure well and was even able to apply a bit of his own on defence.

His option-taking was generally good, too. As a freshman going up against a top-ranked opponent, you do not want to be trying to do too much. Mason did not, playing a tidy game, handling the ball where necessary and mainly looking to pass in the half court.

The only real negative to come from his game was the four fouls he picked up, which saw him playing in spurts throughout. He was not alone in this, though, as the game was called tightly and 10 other players picked up four or more fouls also.

But there was enough to suggest that this kid could be very useful for the Golden Gophers over the next four years. This was a high-quality opponent and often freshman guards can seem under pressure against the top teams early on in their careers. Mason did not and while he hardly screamed superstar, he was reliable and his footwork and confidence handling the ball will make him a threat going to the hoop.

Mason was rated a 3-star recruit by ESPN and ranked the 31st point guard. He was also recruited by Harvard, Kansas State and Virginia, but it was Minnesota who secured his signature little over a year ago. They look to have found themselves a reliable point guard, too, who did seem far better than the 3-star rating he was given.

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Minnesota vs. Louisville: Live Scores, Highlights and Reaction

Louisville 81, Minnesota 68 (FINAL)

The game was billed as Richard Pitino versus his father, Rick Pitino.

But it developed into Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell versus Minnesota.

While son’s team hung around for about a half, dad’s experience and superior talent proved to be too much, as the elder’s Cardinals coasted to an 81-68 victory during Friday night’s Armed Forces Classic in Puerto Rico.

Harrell led all scorers with a career-high 28 points.

Terry Rozier scored 18 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished four assists. Chris Jones finished with 13, four and three.

At one point in the second half, the Cards led 52-32. The Gophers clawed their way back to within eight, but couldn’t inch any closer. 

Minnesota’s Andre Hollins turned in a team-high 20 points, while Maurice Walker, whose status was questionable prior to game time (hamstring), finished with 10 points and four boards.

 

Follow Bleacher Report’s Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81

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