Timberwolves @ Suns Wednesday game thread, 11-15-2023

nashman

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One thing that I appreciate about Nurk is how he actually sets screens. DA so often slipped before the screen was set or just set a poor screen in general. Nurkic isn't perfect and is probably illegal most of the time, but he makes contact and gets separation for Book and KD to do their thing.

Just look at the first couple screens in this highlight package:
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And he is a way better play maker than DA he will always have assists and rebounds we don’t need him to be a double digit scorer every night! Nurkic and Allen will provide far better and more consistent numbers than DA, not to mention effort and just better locker room chemistry than a malcontent DA who thinks he dominates in his head!
 

Hoop Head

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One thing that I appreciate about Nurk is how he actually sets screens. DA so often slipped before the screen was set or just set a poor screen in general. Nurkic isn't perfect and is probably illegal most of the time, but he makes contact and gets separation for Book and KD to do their thing.

Just look at the first couple screens in this highlight package:
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It really baffled me how some started lamenting over what a quality screen setter Ayton was early this past off-season. He did set a lot but they'd often lead to the ball handler being doubled because he wasn't a credible or reliable popper or roller. Like you said, he'd often slip early also and that didn't help matters. I think the best screen setter in the league is Steven Adams, not because he's a threat to shoot or anything but the guy is a brickhouse that stood firm and would have defenders literally bounce off of him. Nurkic is much closer to Adams than Ayton. He had that quote before the season also, "I give the defender one option on my screens, to go under." and that's what I've seen in game. He's good at rolling to the basket and a decent pop threat also, although I'd like to see his outside shooting improve.

The best thing about Nurkic is you don't question his measurements. He's listed as a 7' 280 pound Center and he looks and plays like that, every possession. Ayton never appeared like a legit 7' footer and never used his supposed 250 pounds to his advantage.

Found the piece with his quote, added a few more lines for context.

Link
As a sturdy screen-setter and underrated passer, Nurkic possesses two elements that make him an exceptional fit on a team with Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal — especially since he’s accustomed to setting bone-crushing screens to free up Damian Lillard.

“It’s simple, they’re gonna be open,” Nurkic said of his screens. “Having somebody who can really shoot, like probably Dame-type of range, and not even give respect to another one, I give defensive players one option: You can go under.”
 

Dr dumas

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I think you are looking at it wrong if you think he was the guy they were holding out for. I think they just didn't want to go into the season with Ayton still hanging over their head and took the best deal they could get. As far as I can tell Nurkic and Allen will have a bigger impact for this team than Ayton would have.
Positive attitude alone makes the trade a win!
 

Chaplin

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My takes are hot and spicy right now.

I've been pinching my mouth shut so far this season, decided to let a bit out tonight. We won, best win of the season.

All hail Booker.

When some of these other dudes win me over, I will oblige them. Don't see Nurk getting there though... he's going to be a thorn all year.
You've been "pinching your mouth shut"? Is that a joke? :D
 

AzStevenCal

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It really baffled me how some started lamenting over what a quality screen setter Ayton was early this past off-season. He did set a lot but they'd often lead to the ball handler being doubled because he wasn't a credible or reliable popper or roller. Like you said, he'd often slip early also and that didn't help matters. I think the best screen setter in the league is Steven Adams, not because he's a threat to shoot or anything but the guy is a brickhouse that stood firm and would have defenders literally bounce off of him. Nurkic is much closer to Adams than Ayton. He had that quote before the season also, "I give the defender one option on my screens, to go under." and that's what I've seen in game. He's good at rolling to the basket and a decent pop threat also, although I'd like to see his outside shooting improve.

The best thing about Nurkic is you don't question his measurements. He's listed as a 7' 280 pound Center and he looks and plays like that, every possession. Ayton never appeared like a legit 7' footer and never used his supposed 250 pounds to his advantage.

Found the piece with his quote, added a few more lines for context.

Link
The worst part of DA's screens is he'd often act like his job was over once he set the screen.
 
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95pro

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The Book effect! Book was pretty spectacular last night, he did what he wanted, when he wanted, to who he wanted. And he almost pulled of the 2nd quarter 2 for 1, he hit the 3, but decided to pass on the second 3 and dribbled into two defenders.

This is peak Book and this team was built around and it showed last night what he can impose even on minute restrictions. KD was relieved. Allen and Gordon were allowed to just shoot instead of creating too much.

If they can both remain healthy, Beal just needs to be 110% before playing an actual game.
 
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Mainstreet

Mainstreet

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I’m not even defending Ayton.

Nurkic sucks, the idea that he’s was the guy we were holding out for is insane to me.

I think you are looking at it wrong if you think he was the guy they were holding out for. I think they just didn't want to go into the season with Ayton still hanging over their head and took the best deal they could get. As far as I can tell Nurkic and Allen will have a bigger impact for this team than Ayton would have.

Nurk so far this year has been historically inefficient for his position and a traffic cone on D but the Suns weren’t holding out for him. DA’s value earlier in the summer was Tim Hardaway and JaVale McGee. The Suns held out and got a better deal. They just weren’t holding on to DA to let him boost his value when everyone in the franchise wanted him gone. But yes, Nurk is cheeks. We’d be absolutely hosed without Eubanks right now.

It's possible for all of the above to be correct.
 

mjb21aztd

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Now the fun begins with book back :)

Gonna massivly open shots for beal kd gordon :)

Hopin nurik steps up bit some bad turnovers iffy ball handlin

Hope all az sports fans having good thurs! :)
 

leclerc

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I find it strange that Vongole plays Durant that late in the 4th quarter up by twenty.

Great to get a win. Hope Book stays healthy.
 

ProdigalSun

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Not to mention that if Ayton looked like the absolute dog that he has this season, his value would have actually gotten WORSE.

Nurkic can suck and that trade still was probably the best we could get for Ayton. Both things can be true.
Nurkic also not being paid like a max player. DA’s play was never going to justify his contract
 

Dr. Jones

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I knew it was a problem but...... Nurk's inability to make shots in the paint is extremely unsettling. I almost expect him to miss at this point. The guy is 24 of 49 from 5ft or less and 0 for 5 from 5 to 9ft.

In the restricted area..... IE Below 5ft he's 23 of 47.

49% or worse from everywhere within 9 feet? I mean..... WTH is that?

For reference: Ayton is over 70% in most of these spaces and over 60% from 5 to 9ft. I don't want him back by any means...... but that's 30% more makes.
 

Hoop Head

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I knew it was a problem but...... Nurk's inability to make shots in the paint is extremely unsettling. I almost expect him to miss at this point. The guy is 24 of 49 from 5ft or less and 0 for 5 from 5 to 9ft.

In the restricted area..... IE Below 5ft he's 23 of 47.

49% or worse from everywhere within 9 feet? I mean..... WTH is that?

For reference: Ayton is over 70% in most of these spaces and over 60% from 5 to 9ft. I don't want him back by any means...... but that's 30% more makes.

Now compare FT's. Nurkic's FT's make up for his inefficient shooting in the paint. I expect he'll also improve as the year continues and we get healthier, more in rhythm.
 

Dr. Jones

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Now compare FT's. Nurkic's FT's make up for his inefficient shooting in the paint. I expect he'll also improve as the year continues and we get healthier, more in rhythm.
OK. Fair point.

Nurk has 40 FT Attempts and 28 makes in 11 games. Meanwhile Ayton is a stunning 5 for 5 from the stripe in 11 games. The dude is averaging 31mpg and only has 5 FT's on the season. Big OOOOOF

I just wish he could not look so inept when there is any sort of challenge at the rim. Can he get to 60%? :shrug:
 

Hoop Head

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OK. Fair point.

Nurk has 40 FT Attempts and 28 makes in 11 games. Meanwhile Ayton is a stunning 5 for 5 from the stripe in 11 games. The dude is averaging 31mpg and only has 5 FT's on the season. Big OOOOOF

I just wish he could not look so inept when there is any sort of challenge at the rim. Can he get to 60%? :shrug:

For his career he's 51% from 0-3 feet. If he can get back there, I can live with it. I think it's likely as he gets more in tune with teammates and the offense.
 

Dr. Jones

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Now compare FT's. Nurkic's FT's make up for his inefficient shooting in the paint. I expect he'll also improve as the year continues and we get healthier, more in rhythm.

OK. Fair point.

Nurk has 40 FT Attempts and 28 makes in 11 games. Meanwhile Ayton is a stunning 5 for 5 from the stripe in 11 games. The dude is averaging 31mpg and only has 5 FT's on the season. Big OOOOOF

I just wish he could not look so inept when there is any sort of challenge at the rim. Can he get to 60%? :shrug:
Ironically....

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Hoop Head

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Ironically....

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The league has gotten wise to him. That's why I was against keeping him to rehab his value. He doesn't put in the work necessary to improve so the odds of that happening were slim to none. I can't see another team willing to take him as more than a salary dump with assets attached right now. Portland is stuck with him.
 

Cheesebeef

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The league has gotten wise to him. That's why I was against keeping him to rehab his value. He doesn't put in the work necessary to improve so the odds of that happening were slim to none. I can't see another team willing to take him as more than a salary dump with assets attached right now. Portland is stuck with him.

Yup. If he came out like a dog with fleas, which he’s looked like at Portland for a team he doesn’t hate, his value would have plummeted even further today than it was before the season when we made the trade.
 
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