One Team, One Stat: Jump Shots A Problem For Timberwolves

From Media Day until opening night, NBA.com’s John Schuhmann will provide a key stat for each team in the league and show you, with film and analysis, why it matters. Up next are the Minnesota Timberwolves, who dealt with a myriad of injuries last season.

The basics
MIN Rank
W-L 31-51 22
Pace 95.2 11
OffRtg 100.1 25
DefRtg 102.9 14
NetRtg -2.8 21

The stat

42.3 percent - The Wolves’ effective field goal percentage from outside the paint, worst in the league.

Effective field goal percentage = (FGM + (0.5*3PM)) / FGA
League average from outside the paint: 46.0 percent

The context

Basically, the Wolves were the worst jump-shooting team in the league. The Pistons and Nuggets each had a lower raw field goal percentage from outside the paint, but shot better on threes. Minnesota ranked 13th in mid-range shooting percentage, but 27th on corner threes and 30th on above-the-break threes, the only team that shot less than 30 percent on those.

Thanks to Nikola Pekovic (303 buckets in the restricted area) and Andrei Kirilenko (207), the Wolves were strong at the basket. But they just couldn’t space the floor or make defenses pay for double-teaming Big Pek.

Lowest EFG%, outside paint

Team FGM FGA FG% EFG%
Minnesota 1,262 3,513 35.9% 42.3%
Chicago 1,293 3,570 36.2% 42.5%
Orlando 1,303 3,629 35.9% 42.9%
Charlotte 1,240 3,427 36.2% 43.0%
Phoenix 1,403 3,796 37.0% 43.3%

Here are some of the gory details:

  • Alexey Shved led the team with 288 3-point attempts and made just 29.5 percent of them. Among qualified players, he was the second-worst 3-point shooter in the league, ahead of only Monta Ellis.
  • 15 different Wolves attempted 3-pointers last season and not one of them shot them at the league average (35.9 percent) or better. The best of the group was J.J. Barea (34.6 percent).
  • Ricky Rubio ranked last in the league, by far, in EFG% (38.6%) among players with 500-plus FGA. Part of that comes from being a poor finisher at the rim (44.3 percent in the restricted area), but he struggled from the outside as well.

On Feb. 24, the Wolves outscored the Warriors 62-36 in the paint, but lost by a point because they shot a brutal 6-for-35 from outside it. Rubio was 0-for-6 from outside the paint, Kirilenko was 0-for-5, and Luke Ridnour was 4-for-12.

Here’s video of some of the brickage …


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A healthy Kevin Love will make things better. After registering an effective field goal percentage from outside the paint of 47.9 percent over his previous two seasons, he dropped down to 35.7 percent last season, dealing with an injury to his shooting hand.

Kevin Martin will obviously help, too. Of 150 players who attempted at least 300 shots from outside the paint, Martin ranked 12th in effective field goal percentage at 55.4 percent. Not only will he shoot better than anyone on last year’s Wolves, but he’ll take some minutes from the poor-shooting Shved.

Of course, the Wolves also added Corey Brewer, who was just barely above Shved on the 3-point shooting list at 29.6 percent. Coach Rick Adelman might want to give Brewer a little less freedom to shoot than George Karl did.

Love and Martin will make the Wolves a better offensive team. The bigger question may be on defense, where they’ve lost Kirilenko and Greg Stiemsma.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

9 Comments

  1. Jimmy Buckets says:

    love has ties in la…..but he has said he dosent want to leave

  2. Lakers are trash says:

    Minny will get into the playoffs and make some noise. Lakers will find out how much the new CBA affects their ability to bring in free agents. If Minny decides to trade away it will be to the bulls. Lakers are fcked for the next decade bc they can’t start giving 30 million a year contracts like before.

    • whaaa says:

      hahaha. the only 30 mil contract on lakers is kobe, and i don’t see any other player deserving it more considering all he has done for the lakers franchise. and guess what? it runs out at the end of the year, just like any other contract they have. and when it is time for free agency next summer, i doubt anybody will choose to play in freezing “minny” where there is absolutely nothing but wilderness, compared to the beautiful southern california and all that it has to offer. you can’t even spend the millions you make in minnesota (i’m pretty sure kobe can buy the whole state with the money he made already lol)

  3. Laker says:

    All i can say is minnesota is in for another rough year, they shud at least try to be the worst to get a #1 draft pick or trade Love for a couple yunger tallented shooting guards or a small forward. If they try to base their franchise off love and not give him up for a greater but lenghtier path to the playoffs, they aint going nowhere and thats a fact

  4. Costnerity says:

    These ratings are so skewed by the circumstances that the teams are in. If you had to play extended minutes your shooting would most likely suffer, not to mention that the injuries sustained by the players took out several guards. Shved did score for the team when they needed it, so 29.5% is just a percentage among many things. He also defended opposing pg,sg,sf, and even pf. So to pick on the “outside shooting” of the team is pointless, because of all the other, more important factors that are required to win, like healthy players and chemistry.

  5. Tucker says:

    It’s pretty obvious why the Wolves were so terrible from 3 last year. No real SG, lost Brandon Roy, Kevin Love and Chase Budinger. With Love and Budinger (eventually) back and Kevin Martin on board they should turn their shooting woes around. This article is kind of stupid.

  6. RAWR! says:

    that’s amazing now see this….

    http://www.Paynized.com/?invite=42997

  7. IT'S A NEW SEASON says:

    “The bigger question may be on defense, where they’ve lost Kirilenko and Greg Stiemsma.” Greg Stiemsa… right ‘losing’ him and drafting Dieng was a huge ‘loss’ for the t pups defense, and lost AK to pay for some real shooters aka Mr. Martin. Ricky Martin duo with K Love back and ready for a new season sounds pretty solid. Not worried bout this old news, and I’m quite certain neither are the t-wolves.

  8. wow thats pretty bad…. hope they can improve upon that