Skip to main content

ESPN's Zach Lowe: 'Wolves have transformed into a two-way terror'

The Wolves are fading in the playoff picture but Zach Lowe is still raving about them.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The Denver Nuggets keep winning and the Wolves can't seem to keep up, but that doesn't mean Karl-Anthony Towns and company aren't worth watching down the stretch.

With 15 games to go they're still in the hunt, but at 4 1/2 games behind the Nuggets their chances are bleak. According to PlayoffStatus.com, we're talking about a 2% shot at breaking a 12-year playoff drought.

That doesn't change the fact that Minnesota, as ESPN's Zach Lowe wrote Friday, has "transformed into a two-way terror" since Feb. 1.

With a record of 9-10 since Feb. 1, Lowe's words might seem far-fetched, but take a look at these ratings comparisons. They're much improved on offense while showing a slight improvement on defense.

  • Offensive rating since Feb. 1: 110.4 (6th)
  • Offensive rating before Feb. 1: 106.6 (12th)
  • Defensive rating since Feb. 1: 107.9 (17th)
  • Defensive rating before Feb. 1: 107.2 (23rd)
  • Net rating since Feb. 1: 2.5 (tied 10th)
  • Net rating before Feb. 1: -0.6 (15th)

Net rating is simple. It's how many points the Timberwolves allow per 100 possessions subtracted from how many points they score per 100 possessions.

Houston, San Antonio, Golden State, Utah and Dallas are the only Western Conferences teams with a better net rating than Minnesota since Feb. 1. That's an impressive feat over a dependable sample size.

Wolves ranks in other stats (per game) since Feb. 1

  • Field goal percentage: 47.5 (5th)
  • Offensive rebounds: 12.2 (2nd)
  • Assists: 24.3 (tied 5th)
  • Turnovers: 12.9 (6th)
  • Steals: 8.2 (8th)

The only area the Wolves have really taken a step back is 3-point shooting. Without Zach LaVine, lost in early February to a torn ACL, the Wolves are last in the NBA with an average of 6.7 made threes per game.

Even if the Wolves fail to make the playoffs, they're still surging in the right direction.

More from Lowe on specific players

On Towns: "He's slapping up 30-15 lines as if they are routine. I'm not sure any big man can match his combination of speed and brute strength."

On Ricky Rubio: "Rubio is shooting when he's open, and making enough jumpers to justify what must feel to him like an unnatural uptick in aggression. If defenses respect him, that will unlock more passing lanes for a guy who already ranks as perhaps the world's most creative passer."

On Andrew Wiggins: "Andrew Wiggins is filling all the gaps, only he's so talented, he can pile up 25 points that way and toss in some functional pick-and-roll work when Rubio rests."

Next Up

4303450641_ec7536c6ea_k

Three new Grandstand shows added for Minnesota State Fair 2022

The Beach Boys and Portugal. The Man are among several acts booked.

St. Louis County

St. Louis County set to declare state of emergency ahead of peak flood levels

Volunteers are urgently needed for sandbagging efforts in a small community near Voyageurs National Park.

Screen Shot 2022-05-16 at 5.03.30 PM

Brothers Bar & Grill closes in downtown Minneapolis

The Midwest chain closed its St. Cloud location in 2018.

Ken Jeong

Licensed physician Ken Jeong to do standup in MN this September

The licensed physician will take the stage at Treasure Island Resort and Casino on Sept. 30.

Osseo Police Department

Osseo PD says officer did not pursue suspect who caused fatal crash

The crash happened in Brooklyn Park early Sunday morning.

221 Main Street. E. Albert Lea

Suspect arrested after 3 family members stabbed in Albert Lea

The three victims are related, according to police.

wastewater

Evidence that omicron strains BA.4 and BA.5 are in Minnesota

The European CDC has warned of a possible significant summer surge fueled by the omicron subvariants.

driving unsplash - crop

Hastings man charged for driving drunk with 2-year-old in vehicle

Matthew Quade's BAC was almost five times over the legal limit when police pulled him over last week.

police lights

Arrest made after person shot at Hopkins apartment building

Police say this was an isolated incident and that the victim and suspect knew each other.

Related

ESPN's Zach Lowe: 'Wolves have transformed into a two-way terror'

The Wolves are fading in the playoff picture but Zach Lowe is still raving about them.

Wolves have to a make a major decision on Zach LaVine this year

Zach LaVine's ACL injury complicates a decision the Wolves have to make later this year.

Wolves have to a make a major decision on Zach LaVine this year

Zach LaVine's ACL injury complicates a decision the Wolves have to make later this year.

Wisconsin wins again: ESPN says Bucks, not Wolves have the best young duo

The dynamic duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins is no longer considered the best young duo in the NBA.

Wisconsin wins again: ESPN says Bucks, not Wolves have the best young duo

The dynamic duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins is no longer considered the best young duo in the NBA.

Wiggins, LaVine have Wolves leading the NBA in 3-point shooting

The Wolves are on fire from three and leading the way are Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine.

Wiggins, LaVine have Wolves leading the NBA in 3-point shooting

The Wolves are on fire from three and leading the way are Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine.

The Wolves have been terrible, but Zach LaVine has been on fire

Remember when Zach LaVine was nearly traded before the season?