Tag Archives: cj mccollum

Blazin’ (The Wolves-Trailblazers Rivalries Edition)

Wolves fans will get their first look at Blazers rookie C.J. McCollum in tonight's game at Portland.

Wolves fans will get their first look at Blazers rookie C.J. McCollum in tonight’s game at Portland.

Tonight the Wolves face the Portland Trailblazers in the City of Roses. Tip is at 9:00 P.M CST. You can see it on NBATV.

It’s set to be a *very* interesting game. Find out why below the fold.

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Filed under Previews, Timberwolves

Assessing Shabazz Muhammad’s Summer League Performance

Shabazz Muhammad's Vegas Summer League results were mixed

Shabazz Muhammad’s Vegas Summer League results were mixed

From ESPN TrueHoop’s assessment of the Las Vegas Summer League’s top rookies, here’s Justin Verrier’s take on Shabazz Muhammad:

Shabazz Muhammad, Timberwolves
8.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, 41 FG%, 38 3P%

lastname

Muhammad

The good: The fit is there. Muhammad has the build of your everyday athletic, break-you-off-dribble wing scorer, but he thrived at UCLA mostly in situations where he didn’t have to dribble — off the catch, running the break, posting up. And on a team like the Timberwolves, with a scorer/rebounder and ball handler as its two cornerstones, it’s those “other” areas where Muhammad will need to do his work.

Despite the lure always present at summer league to isolate everything, Muhammad primarily stuck to that script, floating around the arc and running off screens, and looked right doing so. His rebound numbers in Vegas were ho-hum, but he can be a great wing rebounder with his size, if he puts in the effort. He also shot 41.1 percent from 3, better than his college average (38 percent).

The bad: The production was not there. The 20-year-old (we hope) Muhammad averaged just 8.5 points on 41 percent shooting. Which isn’t awful. But when a player who lives off offense can’t produce, particularly against inferior competition, the deficiencies in the rest of his game become more noticeable. And in Muhammad’s case that’s his ambivalence toward passing (five total assists) and mediocre defense despite the tools to be pretty good.

Bottom line: Muhammad has a lot to work with, and you’re inclined to dismiss some of the disappointment to playing a defined and limited role, but it’s hard to write all that off after a drama-filled freshman season. That age stuff doesn’t matter anymore, but can he be happy with an even smaller role in snowy Minnesota than the one he griped about in Los Angeles?

— Justin Verrier

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It’s hard to argue with Verrier’s take. We know the following:

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Filed under NBA Draft, Timberwolves

Mock Draft, Picks 1-8

Adam Silver will be rollin' phat on Draft night

Adam Silver will be rollin’ phat on Draft night

Eds. Note: This mock isn’t necessarily intended to predict what teams will do, but to spell out what WE would do at each pick. Some of that is likely to map onto what teams actually end up doing on Thursday, some isn’t.  

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1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

Patrick J: I think the Cavs go with the conventional wisdom here. In a draft without a sure-thing superstar, you go with talent and size, especially when there’s a seven footer with potentially upper upper level shotblocking skills and defensive instincts.

Andy G: Can’t disagree, here. It’s not so much that NERLENS is can’t-miss as much as there’s probably not a sure thing anywhere in this draft and it’s pretty easy to see how his game carries over to modern NBA defense, often times built around roaming paint protectors.

Plus, that flat top.

Moving on…

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Draft Combine, Part III: The Measurement Edition

NERLENS

Over the weekend we took a look at some of the more interesting youtube interviews of potential draftees at the combine. Part I here. Part II here.

Now we’re wrapping up the DRAFT COMBINE SERIES with a few observations — mostly Timberwolves-related — about the measurements portion of the event. Without further ado…

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