Deep Dive: Do The Timberwolves Have A Malik Beasley Problem?
Minnesota's designated shooter can't hit shots and that's more important than it seems.
The basketball shows no sympathy. The defenders show no sympathy. The hardwood, the rim, the flow of the game, they show no sympathy. Malik Beasley, stuck in prison and not in the gym, had one of the stranger offseason experiences that any player could endure this summer, and the regular season has been unkind to him thus far. The reasons why he entered camp out of shape are clear as it comes, but the game doesn’t wait for players to overcome their offseason excuses, there has been no sympathy to be found in any crevice or around any corner once those games started rolling.
For the Minnesota Timberwolves, he is the biggest part of their biggest problems. So far, he is averaging 10.6 points per game while shooting a measly 34.6 percent from the field and knocking down just 32.6 percent on a whopping 7.9 3-point attempts per game. Only 18 players are shooting as many long balls as the 25-year-old this season, Beasley ranks 13th in terms of percentage.
Along with D’Angelo Russell — who has earned his crust in other, more impressive ways — Beasley has personified the shooting struggles that have been the scourge of Minnesota’s underwhelming offense. Instead of the offensive powerhouse they seemed like they could be before the season, they’ve been an inconsistent and unreliable offensive unit. They currently rank 20th in points per 100 possessions and 24th in non-garbage time 3-point percentage (33.7%).
After he put up 19.6 points a night and nailed 39.9 percent of his triples last season, Beasley was supposed to be the fulcrum of Minnesota’s bench, the movement shooter who could not only fill in admirably when Timberwolves head coach started to mix his bench in and rest his high-usage starters, but enhance them and provide a spark plug when he played alongside them. Instead, he has faltered at every step and left the Wolves with a dearth of valuable shot-makers.