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Ryan Saunders encouraged by Karl-Anthony Towns pick-and-roll prowess

Timberwolves, Ryan Saunders, Karl Anthony Towns

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders has been encouraged by Karl-Anthony Towns swift improvement in pick-and-roll scenarios, making him an even deadlier big man to defend out in the perimeter.

“I think last game he was very good in the pick-and-roll,” said Saunders of Towns’ recent game against the Memphis Grizzlies. “He knew that Memphis was trapping him; they were zoning; they were trying to keep bodies on him. He was good sprinting into screens. The more he sprints into screens the better.”

In the play above, Towns was aided by Tyus Jones’ speedy attack, drawing two defenders to contain him while leaving the big man wide-open for a top-of-the-line 3-pointer with no one around to fully contest the 7-foot center.

Towns is no joke from deep, as the Kentucky product is hitting above a 40 percent clip for the second straight season, being a whisker shy of a 40 percent career shooter through his four-year career in the league.

There is hardly anyone in the league just as lethal from distance as they are from the low-block and Towns sweetly mixes brutal strength at the offensive end with a feathery-smooth jumper from all spots outside the arc.

The Timberwolves big man is posting career-highs in rebounding (12.5), assists (3.3), and steals per game (0.9) — all while remaining a force at both ends of the court and still growing into the superstar the franchise expects him to blossom into after doling out a hefty extension this past summer.