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Wolves are actually shooting more from close-range than they did last year

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • November 7, 2013 - 3:27 PM

Conventional wisdom held that the Timberwolves would hoist up way more long-range shots this season than they did last year thanks to the addition of Kevin Martin and the return to health of Kevin Love.

And, well, that's partially true. Last season the Wolves attempted 1,475 three-pointers in 82 games, an average of 18 attempts per game.

This year, they've hoisted up 116 in five games, an average of about 23.

(Sadly, they are making just 30.2 percent of them this season -- almost the same as last year, when they were last in the NBA at 30.5 percent. That should change, but still).

What they seem to be doing less of, it would seem, is mid-range jumpers -- somewhere between 15 feet and the three-point line. That's a good thing, since those are often the worst shots, scoring percentage-wise, in basketball.

Per Deadspin's tracking, the Wolves have attempted 6.9 percent fewer shots overall -- including three-pointers -- from 15 feet and beyond this season versus last season. So even though they are hoisting five more threes per game, more of their shots this season are from 15-feet and in than they were last year, at least so far.

What does this mean? Well, they're getting a good combination of basket cut layups and close-range low-post shots, one would imagine. And when they do create outside shots, they are from three-point range instead of two-point range. Unfortunately for them, everyone not named Kevin Martin (who is a scorching 14 for 25 form long distance) is a combined 21 for 91. That should change. When it does, the offensive efficiency will tick even further upward as long as they keep getting more close-range twos.

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