Minnesota Timberwolves Weekly: Bon voyage Corey Brewer

The week that was:
The Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t have a great week, losing all four games to the Los Angeles Lakers. the Washington Wizards, the Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately the only games that were close were the games against the Lakers and Pacers, who are both near the bottom of their respective divisions. Once again shoddy defense and costly turnovers proved to be the Timberwolves undoing.
Corey Brewer will be moving on to Houston
Outside of the games, the Timberwolves traded Corey Brewer and Roni Turiaf to the Houston Rockets for shooting guard Troy Daniels and draft picks. This is an interesting trade for the team, they probably won’t get as many steals without Brewer, but Daniels will improve the outside shooting for the team and is much younger than Brewer, so he has a better chance to help the Timberwolves going forward. It is sad to see Brewer go, as he was a high energy player who enjoyed playing for the Timberwolves, though it is nice that Brewer will be able to p

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Indiana Pacers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves 12/21/14: Video Highlights and Recap

Two teams with just one win in their past nine games met on Sunday when the Indiana Pacers took on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Both sides were in dire need of a victory, and the winner would get a small consolation in what looks to be a long season for both sides.

Watch the video for full highlights. 

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Rockets acquire Timberwolves swingman Brewer (Yahoo Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 14: Corey Brewer #13 of the Minnesota Timberwolves takes a shot against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Houston Rockets made a move to bolster their depth on the perimeter on Friday, obtaining veteran swing man Corey Brewer from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a three-team trade that also included the Philadelphia 76ers.


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AP source: Rockets acquire Timberwolves’ Brewer (Yahoo Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A person with knowledge of the agreement tells The Associated Press that the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to trade veteran swingman Corey Brewer to the Houston Rockets for Troy Daniels and two future second-round picks.

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Minnesota Timberwolves: Injuries continue to linger

Much like last year, the Minnesota Timberwolves have struggled with injuries all season. Three of the five starters have missed most of the season with various injuries.
Ricky Rubio is the biggest injury for the Timberwolves. He commands the offense, and missed a lot of time due to a tough ankle injury. While there were reports that he would be getting back into the lineup sooner, the latest reports indicate that Rubio will be out until mid January. However, one positive sign is that Ricky Rubio started traveling with the team, indicating that he is on the mend and should at least be on schedule to come back sometime in January.
One positive from Rubio’s absence is that Zach LaVine receives more experience for each game that Rubio sits, as he gets to start in his place. While this makes the Timberwolves overall play worse, LaVine continues to improve the more minutes he gets.
Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin will also be out at until January, and Martin might be back a little later than that. Pekovic’s ank

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Takeaways from Zach LaVine’s Performance for Minnesota Timberwolves so Far

The 2014 NBA season is as young as Zach LaVine‘s career, but already there are some takeaways to garner. Due to the many injuries on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster, LaVine has taken over the reins as the team’s starting point guard.

The 6’5″ rookie from UCLA wasn’t drafted because of his college stat line or his ability to make an immediate impact; his value lies in his potential. He’s fast, he can shoot from beyond the arc and he may be the best dunker in the NBA (as seen in the GIF below).

LaVine’s ceiling is high, but so far this season, he’s looked like any other struggling rookie. 

 

LaVine Has Big-Game Potential but He’s Not Consistent

The 19-year-old rookie has had his fair share of ups and downs. In a 120-119 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on November 28, LaVine had a breakout performance, racking up 28 points and five assists. The very next game, in a 107-93 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, he shot 0-of-3 and tallied zero points and zero assists.

The potential is there, but the consistency is not. Through 21 games (12 starts), he has a very mediocre stat line: 9.1 points per game, 3.5 assists per game and a horrid 39.1 field-goal percentage. 

In December, LaVine is averaging an impressive 11.4 points per game, but he’s only shooting 37.5 percent from the floor (according to ESPN). He’s improving the quantity but not the quality. 

LaVine has shown glimpses of potential, but those games are usually surrounded by nights of mediocrity. He’s very raw, but with time, we may see more ups than downs from the young point guard.

 

LaVine is a Much Better Facilitator Than Expected

At UCLA, he only averaged 1.8 assists per game. In his defense, LaVine was only a freshman, and he didn’t have a lot of experience as a floor general (with only one start in his collegiate career). 

The biggest pleasant surprise this season for LaVine has been his competence as a passer. In four of his 12 starts, the rookie has racked up eight or more assists. In college, he never recorded more than six assists in a single game.

His best performance of the year came on December 6 in a 123-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, when he recorded 22 points and 10 assists—his first career double-double. 

Much like his scoring ability, he can occasionally have big games as a facilitator, but he hasn’t been very consistent. Eventually, Rubio will come back, and the team won’t depend on LaVine as its primary passer.

 

LaVine Has Struggled from Beyond the Arc

When LaVine entered the draft, one of the big selling points was his ability to shoot from long range. In college, he shot 37.5 percent on three-point attempts. 

Unfortunately, his shot hasn’t transitioned well to the big leagues. He is currently shooting only 25 percent from downtown. 

In his defense, not only is he a teenager, but the NBA three-point line is about four feet farther from the basket than it is in college. With more time and experience, LaVine’s long-range efficiency will most likely increase. 

 

In Conclusion

His 8.05 player efficiency rating is well below the league average (15), and he’s shooting under 40 percent from the field (which is the basketball version of the Mendoza), but he has shown signs of being a great future player. 

He’s had two 20-plus-point performances this season, both in which he shot over 50 percent.

He’s also been one of the best rookies in this year’s class. LaVine currently ranks fourth in points per game and second in assists per game among rookies, according to ESPN. He’s also the only point guard in his class who has a double-double. 

He’s clearly very talented, but it will take at least a few more years before LaVine becomes a consistent contributor. 

 

All stats are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Washington Wizards 12/16/14: Video Highlights, Recap

The red-hot Washington Wizards looked to keep rolling on Tuesday night when they took on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wizards had won four straight and eight of their last nine and faced a struggling Timberwolves side who had lost two straight and nine of its last 10. 

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Wall’s 21 points, 17 assists lead Wizards over Timberwolves (Yahoo Sports)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 16: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards gestures while talking with teammates during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Verizon Center on December 16, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall scored 21 points and equaled a career high with 17 assists and Rasual Butler had 23 points as the Washington Wizards won their fifth game in a row, 109-95 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.


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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves 12/14/14: Video Highlights, Recap

It was a night for history as Kobe Bryant finally passed Michael Jordan on the NBA‘s all-time scoring list. 

The Los Angeles Lakers’ matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves was the backdrop for the occasion as the two struggling sides met looking for some positive momentum.

Watch the video for full highlights.

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L.A. Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

Kobe Bryant will look to pass Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA‘s all-time scoring list when the Los Angeles Lakers travel to Target Center to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday night.

Bryant, who scored 22 points in the Lakers’ Friday night overtime win against the San Antonio Spurs, is nine points away from surpassing Jordan.

Los Angeles will also be searching for its first three-game winning streak of the season.

The Timberwolves, who have been without several key players, have been struggling mightily, losing seven of their last eight contests.

Catch all of the action at 7 p.m. ET on either TWC SportsNet 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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