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Flip Saunders Insists He Loves 3-Pointers

Minnesota Timberwolves president and head coach Flip Saunders hadn’t tweeted in over a year before firing out three tweets on Sunday. These tweets appeared to be directed at people who’ve criticized Saunders because his teams haven’t been prolific when it comes to shooting three-pointers:

Who knows what specifically set off this mini-rant. Interestingly enough, our own Jesus Gomez wrote a piece criticizing Saunders on this very topic last week. And when you look at the numbers, Saunders’s teams truly have not been adept at shooting three-pointers.

Minnesota was last in three-point attempts and makes this past season, and Tim Cato over at SB Nation looked at Saunders’s previous teams and found a pattern. Since 2000, Saunders-coached clubs have finished in the bottom 10 of three-point attempts 12 times and the bottom five six times. The highest finish was 10th in 2006 with the Detroit Pistons.

Saunders recently talked about three-pointers in a Q&A with Grantland’s Zach Lowe:

Do we need to make 3s? No question. I think Andrew will become an adequate 3-point shooter. The bottom line is, you have what you have. If your best players aren’t 3-point shooters, you can’t just make them 3-point shooters. We need to build around them and get some other players who can stretch the floor.

Well it’s up to Saunders to both build a team that can shoot more threes and run an offense that encourages more three-pointers. We’ll see if he puts his money where his mouth is in the coming years.

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