Timberwolves head coach/general manager Flip Saunders wants the world to know that he's fully aware of the importance of the 3-point shot in the NBA.
Not only did Minnesota finish with the worst record in the league last season, it also finished last in 3-pointers made (5.0 per game) and attempted (14.9 per game). But the lack of productivity from the perimeter has nothing to do with Saunders' affinity for the long-range game, which seems to be taking the league by storm.
To make his point,
" target="_blank">Saunders broke a Twitter silence of nearly 500 days, saying he loves 3-pointers.
The trio of tweets were the first from Saunders going all the way back to early 2014 when the coach was slaying rumors about then-Timberwolves star Kevin Love.
Despite his admiration for 3-point shots, the facts prove that it's very rare for a Saunders-coached team to finish near the top of the league in 3-point shooting. SB Nation explains:
"Since 2000, the highest a Saunders-coached team has finished in three-point attempts was in 2006, when his Pistons finished 10th in the NBA. During that same time period, Saunders' clubs garnered 12 bottom-10 finishes and six bottom-five finishes."
But last year, Pro Basketball Talk notes, the Wolves simply didn't have the players to become an effective team from deep. Saunders recently told Zach Lowe of Grantland that he hopes that changes in the near future.
"Do we need to make 3s? No question. I think Andrew will become an adequate 3-point shooter. The bottom line is, you have what you have. If your best players aren’t 3-point shooters, you can’t just make them 3-point shooters. We need to build around them and get some other players who can stretch the floor…
The reason teams don’t post up is that nobody can do it anymore. Teams would like to do it. The post-up is conducive to small ball. If a guy can score down there, the defense has to trap, and you can get open 3s. And that’s what we’re all trying to get — open 3s."
Time will tell, but Saunders hears the critics loud and clear.