Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 12/4/12
MINNEAPOLIS It's impossible not to have faith in Kevin Love, but in his first weeks back this season, I've found myself holding my breath during every 3-point shot he attempts. It hasn't been pretty; he's shooting just 19.4 percent from long range. Of course Love is still getting his shooting back after five weeks out, and with the strides he made from long-range last year, you have to think this is going to improve. But it's not just Love who's struggling at the 3-point line. The team has come a long way (which is a nice way of saying it's regressed) since his dramatic win in the 3-point shooting contests during All-Star Weekend last February, and it needs to figure out a means to get its long-range shooting into some kind of passable shape. Through Friday's game, the Timberwolves are shooting 28.6 percent from long range, compared to the 33.6 percent they've allowed opponents. That 3-point accuracy is good for dead last in the league, and it's a sizeable chunk behind the next-worst team, the Wizards, who have a 30.2 percent mark. The only upside to the Timberwolves' long-range woes is that they make their 26th-ranked field goal percentage slightly more acceptable. The team's starting lineup of late (before Andrei Kirilenko's injury) Love, Nikola Pekovic, Luke Ridnour, Malcolm Lee and Kirilenko is shooting a combined 28.9 percent from long-range, and Kirilenko has thus far been the most effective long-range shooter (37.5 percent). That lineup for its career, though, shoots 34.2 percent on 3-pointers, so this is an aberration for sure. So what's to blame for this fall-off? It's hard to say. The easy answer would be Chase Budinger's injury he was shooting 30.4 percent but is a career 36.1 percent shooter from long range but even that isn't at fault; before Budinger went down, the Timberwolves were still last in the league at 28.4 percent from 3-point range. On Friday, though, the team posted its best 3-point shooting of the season: 42.1 percent. It went 8 for 19 from long-range courtesy of Alexey Shved's 4-for-6 mark, and it seems that maybe coach Rick Adelman's just keep shooting advice will pay off. In fact, Adelman has mentioned several times over the past few days that players, especially Shved, have been shooting better in practice, and now he's just waiting to see it translate to the court. Maybe Friday was the beginning of an upward trend, but it's going to take better long-range shooting Tuesday in Philadelphia and Wednesday in Boston, and even Friday at home against Cleveland, to prove it. The other Andrei Kirilenko: I have to credit Grantland's Brian Phillips for this one. This morning, he tweeted: Quietly weird phrase in today's New York Times: The chief economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Andrei Kirilenko'. I found the article, and it's true. The chief economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is indeed named Andrei Kirilenko, though from the picture in the story, he's dark-haired and somewhat diminutive. So much less cool than if the small forward had a double life and was trading futures while sitting out with back spasms. Anderson Varejao as the new Kevin Love? Monday night, the Cavaliers' big man logged his ninth straight game with 15 or more rebounds. It's the longest such streak since Love had 10 straight 15-plus rebound games from Nov. 22 to Dec. 11, 2010. The Cavaliers play the Bulls Wednesday night and then the Timberwolves Friday, so if the streak makes it through Wednesday's game, Varejao will have a chance to surpass Love's mark in Minneapolis. Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos safety Shiloh Keo arrested for DUI

Mountain West admits error, says Boise St. shot was good

WATCH: John Calipari loses his mind, gets ejected

Former Clemson star Tajh Boyd to speak at John Kasich rally

Peyton Manning's alleged not-so-wholesome image

Hawks not shopping Al Horford at NBA trade deadline

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

Ejected John Calipari tweets “they don’t need me and I love it”

Popovich would 'buy ticket' to watch Warriors play

Jamal Murray destroyed South Carolina defender with dunk

WATCH: Lon Kruger gets Oklahoma hoops squad hype for Kansas test

Texas signee glad he didn’t pick Texas A&M after alleged racism

Dallas Stars have passed the early tests in February

Could Matt Forte become the revival for Patriots run game?

Are the Celtics legimate contenders in the East?

WATCH: Jabari Parker is no joke at NBA Rising Stars Challenge

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker