From: Las Vegas
Things could not have gone much worse for interim coach Ryan Saunders since the All-Star break. In the team’s first practice after that extended absence, Saunders seemed energized, noting that he’d spent extensive time with the folks in the Wolves analytics department. Without casting aspersions on his predecessor, Tom Thibodeau, he inferred that there would be a greater emphasis put on 3-pointers and that some of the team’s existing defensive schemes would be tweaked as much as possible.
In the 13 games since then, the Wolves’ 3-point offense has not statistically varied that much, with slightly greater accuracy from long range before the break (35.2 percent vs. 33.5 percent) on essentially the same volume — 28.5 3-point attempts per game before the break and 28.7 afterward. But on defense, the Wolves are getting roasted by the long ball.
From the left corner, opponents are making exactly 40 percent of their treys — 22-for-55 — and that, believe it or not, is Minnesota’s best defensive resistance from deep. From the right corner, the accuracy is 41.9 percent on 26-for-62 shooting. The real killer is how opponents are shooting from the supposedly less-desirable area above the break — 139-for-335, or 41.5 percent.
Put it all together and the Wolves have yielded the most 3-pointers, 188, by allowing the highest opponent 3-point percentage, 41.4, of any team in the NBA since the All-Star break. If you couple that with the Wolves’ traditionally low usage of the trey in their offense (they are a mere 8-for-30 from the right corner since the break), you get a whopping differential of 62 3-pointers between Minnesota and their opponents over the past 13 games, an average of 4.8 fewer 3-point makes per game.