In the Bonus: T-Wolves like to launch from deep

In the Bonus: T-Wolves like to launch from deep
December 16, 2013, 7:00 pm
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BOSTON — The Minnesota Timberwolves have an imposing frontline with lots of size, but the Boston Celtics need to be just as wary of their 3-point shooting.

The Timberwolves come into tonight's game having nailed a season-high 12 3-pointers in their 101-93 win against Memphis on Sunday.

"They present a lot of challenges," Stevens said. "You have a group of guys that are all very capable. Love's playing at an unbelievable level."

That's Kevin Love, who is making a serious case for the league's MVP award this season.

The 6-foot-10 big man is averaging 25 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. In addition, the burly power forward isn't shy about launching 3s, either.

Love has launched 145 3-balls this year which ranks fifth in the NBA.

But taking lots of 3s doesn't mean much if you're not making them.

And that is why the Timberwolves, as much as they want to become a 3-point shooting team, have struggled most of the season in connecting from long range.

Although they are sixth in 3-point attempts (23.9) per game, Minnesota ranks 20th in 3-point percentage (34.2).

Their 3-point shooting is even worse when you exclude Kevin Martin who has shot 40.8 percent on 3s this season.

Without Martin, the Timberwolves' 3-point shooting dips to just 32.7 percent which is below the league's season average (35.8).

However, Boston has to be on guard for Minnesota's 3-point shooting at the start of games.

Despite their less-than-stellar shooting on 3s this season, they are among the better long-range shooting clubs in the first quarter which is when their 3-point shooting percentage is a healthy 44.4 percent.

They are pretty consistent with the league average in the second and third quarters while connecting on 31 and 37.1 percent, respectively.

Minnesota's 3-point shooting woes have come in the fourth quarter when they have shot just 25.8 percent.

Still, there is optimism among the Timberwolves that their 3-point shooting will only get better as the season progresses.

"As far as the ball moving, the 3s happen to be the shots that we're getting," Love said. "As far as guys knocking down shots, it gives guys confidence. Other than that, it's the way we've been moving the ball and finally getting into the offense ... the 3s are just coming to us and we're knocking them down."