Although Robert Covington succeeds from bone bruise in his right ankle, the Minnesota Timberwolves sputtering. How bad do they miss him?
Robert Covington broke his right foot back on New Year's Eve and the Minnesota Timberwolves was not the same since. Successful in the first week, going 4-2 with some nice talents over the Lakers and Thunder.
However, however, Minnesota has only gone 4-7 and loses some close games.
They lost most of it on the protection end. Since it was injured, Wolves's protection rating has dropped from 107.3 (10th) to Covington to 110.8 (18) without it.
Minnesota also lost shooting. In the period lost by Covington, the Timberwolves only 33.4 percent from 3 and were shooting 35.9 percent – 11th in the series over the 24-game range.
These are the two areas in which Covington could have a huge impact: shooting and 3 point protection. It was an important gap for the Timberwolves of this season, placing these weaknesses on each side of the floor.
On the offensive side of the court, Covington is shooting 37.2 percent from 3 on 6.7 attempts against the game. Playing alongside Jeff Teague, Andrew Wiggins, and Taj Gibson, all shooting 3-shooting shooting below, Covington floor spacing is required. With Josh Okogie, who is shooting 29.6 percent at 3s wide open, instead, there is no space for others to work.
Protective, it's still worse. Covington was extremely successful at the end of defense during his 22 games with Minnesota, upgrading 2.3 games per game. The Timberwolves took up seven more points per 100 properties with Covington on the floor, which is the 94th centennial.
They do everything at a higher level with Covington on the floor.
Although Okogie is a young betting wing, he's almost ready to be a leading player of a good NBA team. He has good energy at the end of defense but it only has many good things for an offense. It will get there, but it still has some seasonal.
With Covington on the floor, the Wolves feel much more complete. The floor is much more balanced and although they have not had a high standard with Jimmy Butler, they are a crew team.
It's hard to say how much Covington will be out. He lost about six weeks to date and never missed a timetable for how long he was expected to miss.
Minnesota is getting farther off the playoff race and even if Covington returns next week, they are not likely to come up. They are four games in the loss column from the eighth seed with Dallas, Los Angeles (Lakers), and Sacramento on their way.
The Timberwolves play a fairly sloppy on both ends since Covington went down and they must return to remedy their offensive and protective material. It's definitely the team they were without him they do not want to be much longer.