While we don’t know exactly how new Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas will want the Wolves to play or how much he will dictate that — though we should know more Monday when he is introduced to the local media — it’s reasonable to think he was brought in to build and manage a roster able to execute the style of play that has made Houston both efficient and successful.
This season, Houston was the only NBA team that shot more three-pointers than two-pointers. And the Rockets adhered to the notion that the most efficient shots are three-pointers or attempts at the rim: Seventy-eight percent of all their shots fit into one of those two categories. Only the also highly successful Bucks (76%) even approached that number.
The Wolves? They were at 60%.
Andrew Wiggins in particular? Only 55% of his shots attempts were either threes or at the rim — and that was actually a career high for him. A full 30.3% of his attempts were either from 10-16 feet or from 16 feet to the three-point line. Guess how many shots the Rockets took from that distance? 7.5% of their attempts, per Basketball Reference.
What happens when the efficiency of the Rockets meets the inefficiency of Wiggins? That’s the most interesting question to emerge from this hire.
The Wolves have a press conference scheduled for 10 a.m. this morning at which Rosas will talk about his new job. Come back to startribune.com later today for a report on what he says.
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I wrote last week about retired numbers among Twin Cities athletes, noting in particular that the Vikings did not take No. 84 out of commission even though Randy Moss was an all-time great.
In the aftermath, I was contacted by two people. The first was an old-time Vikings fan who wondered why I hadn’t noted that Gene Washington, another accomplished former Vikings receiver, wasn’t included in the conversation about 84 — the jersey number he wore from 1967-72 with the Vikings, before Moss was even born.
The caller was persuasive and polite. We had a good discussion, during which I said I knew Washington was No. 84, too, but simply ran out of space. The second person to contact me, though, carried even more sway.
It was Washington himself.
He sent an e-mail that was also polite. It contained, for emphasis, a lengthy official résumé of his accomplishments both on the field (first-round draft pick, two-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl participant) and off (Master’s degree earned while still in the NFL and a distinguished post-playing career, including more than two decades at 3M).
“In your future discussions (involving my #84 jersey), I am hopeful that I will be remembered,” he concluded in his e-mail.
Consider it done — and all the more reason for the Vikings to think about taking the number out of circulation.
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We’re just a game away from two traded Wild players possibly squaring off in the Eastern Conference finals. The Hurricanes and Nino Niederreiter are already in after finishing their sweep of the Islanders on Friday. The Bruins and Charlie Coyle, up 3-2 on Columbus, can join them with a win Monday.
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As someone who turned off the TV about two minutes after the Kentucky Derby seemingly ended Saturday, there was a “what the …” moment several hours later. Guess the lesson, as with everything, is that it’s never over until it’s over.