1 Crucial skill that every Timberwolves star must work on this summer

Karl Anthony-Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Karl Anthony-Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Timberwolves-Karl-Anthony Towns: Screen Navigation

With the arrival of Gobert to the Timberwolves, Towns’ wish to not play the 5-position (center) was granted. That also came with responsibilities for towns to make it work, but sadly, it became a rough setback to fix the whole year.

Playing with two bigs has not been the formula for winning basketball in this era of the NBA, even as talented as both guys are. On the offensive end, it wasn’t much of an adjustment for Towns because he can definitely score outside. Figuring out how to play the 4-position was the biggest challenge.

Being in the generation of pace and space in basketball, we surely could see the uptick of 4-out and 5-out sets of teams across the league. It means towns have to be able to toggle around different screening actions in the perimeter, which they commonly call “screen navigation.

Against the Nuggets, the Timberwolves mixed it up for Towns, who he saw time guarding Nikola Jokic and most of the time was placed on Aaron Gordon. Though Towns is a considerable non-shooter, the genius of the Nuggets’ offense still had to find a way to punish Towns’ inability to navigate screens.

Disclaimer: Jokic is insanely and uniquely gifted to execute a pick-and-roll as the handler and be this effective. Here is an action where Gordon screens that made it necessary for Towns to go over it, factoring Gobert’s base coverage as a drop.

Going over the film of the regular season, it doesn’t make sense to make a judgment as to how Towns will be able to thrive in this role. He and Gobert surely need to share the court for more than 27 games next season to get sufficient reps on guarding actions, especially for Towns.