The arrival of Robert Covington and Dario Saric in Minnesota is going to mean the dynamics of the Timberwolves’ lineups and rotations are going to change.
Covington, especially, figures to be a starter going forward and is usually adept at playing the “three” position, traditionally known as small forward.
That’s been the spot Andrew Wiggins occupied while Jimmy Butler was here. With Covington back in the fold, Wiggins probably will slide back to the ‘‘two,’’ or shooting guard slot.
It’s a change that Wiggins wouldn’t mind seeing.
“I feel like the two is more involved kind of on the pick-and-rolls and a lot of the sets that we got,” Wiggins said.
One advantage of playing at the two, Wiggins said, was that he likely would see smaller defenders playing him. That would allow him to exercise a facet of his game he said he hasn’t been able to as much as he would like — getting inside.
“A couple years ago I used to post up a lot,” Wiggins said. “That’s where I did a lot of my damage, and as the team switched and got new people, I became more outside instead of driving to the rim and posting up. I’m just trying to get back to it.”
Before Butler’s arrival, Wiggins took 6.1 shots per game in the restricted area around the basket in the 2016-17 season. The decreased to 4.1 last season and is down to 3.3 this season.
Those numbers would include any shots Wiggins got as a result of post-ups or drives to the hoop. But his post-up game is something Wiggins will try to rejuvenate with Covington in the fold.
“I’m trying to do it every day now,” Wiggins said. “Just being aggressive, getting to the rim and getting back to my roots.”
Added coach Tom Thibodeau: “With Robert, the way he can shoot the three and run the floor, I think those two guys complement each other well. Particularly defensively, Robert’s length and his ability to guard multiple positions are invaluable. … The two and three are very similar and so, you might tailor them a little towards the things they can do well.”
Wiggins scored 23 points Wednesday night. Five of his 23 shots were at the rim, making three of them, including an emphatic dunk late in the game to secure the victory.
Rose sits again
Derrick Rose missed his second game of the season, this time because of left knee soreness. Rose previously sat out a game against Portland on Nov. 4 and played just five minutes against Golden State on Nov. 2. Thibodeau said the oft-injured Rose was trying to be careful not to overextend himself.
“He’s at a point in his career where if he’s nicked up, he’ll tell me.” he said. “But obviously he’s had a great start to the season, and I think he has a great understanding of how to manage his body now. I have great trust in him.”
Rose is averaging 19.2 points per game, fueled by a 48 percent performance from three-point range.
Off the court, Rose announced the winners of his first “Rose Scholars” awards. Rose is awarding $400,000 in tuition money for college through the program.