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Wolves’ Anthony Tolliver ready to live up to three-point expectations

September 25, 2018

Its been awhile since the last time Anthony Tolliver wore a Timberwolves uniform.

And yes, things have changed. Hes married now, with kids. Last time he lived in Uptown. Now hes in the suburbs.

A lot of life has happened, Tolliver said Monday, at Wolves media day.

And, in Tollivers case, his game has developed. The 6-8 forward was with the Wolves for two seasons starting in the fall of 2010. He was a part of two teams that combined for 43 wins in two seasons, four fewer than the Wolves had last season.

This time around Tolliver figures to be a part of an improved second unit for a team determined to take another step despite the expected departure of Jimmy Butler.

Tolliver, who signed a one-year contract in the offseason, returns to the Wolves with rather heady three-point statistics. Always serviceable behind the arc, Tolliver took it to a new level last year, setting personal highs for three-pointers attempted (4.6) and made (2.0) per game while shooting 43.6 percent, seventh best in the league.

It was, he said the perfect storm of opportunity and preparation. Hed always felt he could be effective from three. He prepared for it. And he found a coach in Detroit last year, Stan Van Gundy, who let him shoot and thrive.

I felt it was something Id have to do to stay relevant, he said. To stick around for a long time. It was a combination of freedom, opportunity and preparation. It all came together at once.

Off the bench for the Pistons, Tolliver attempted and made more three pointers per game than any Timberwolf. Three-point shooting is something Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau has said needs to improve. Tolliver is more than willing to help. When asked whether he felt hed have the same freedom to shoot the three under Thibodeau, Tolliver smiled.

If I play, you will see three-pointers put up, period, he said. [Thibodeau] knows what hell get out of me.

Changing the world

When it came to a (likely) post-Jimmy Butler era, Karl-Anthony Towns had relatively little to say. When it came to his recent signing of the max, five-year, 190-million contract with the Wolves, he was vague about his discussions with the Wolves particularly owner Glen Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune that preceded it.

But he was pretty effusive when it came to talking about what all the money means for him, for his family. Frankly, for everybody.

When youre growing up playing the game of basketball, youre never thinking about a dollar, he said. Youre asking your parents for a pretzel at Papa Johns or a Gatorade at the concession stand. Now youre presented with a situation where you can take care of generations of your family.

He talked about his niece and nephew Who I almost call my own kids, he said. He talked about how theyll be able to go to any college they want, though, smiling, he said hed push em towards Kentucky.

But theres more.

Already active in charities, Towns talked about expanding that effort in Minnesota and in his home of New Jersey, and beyond.

Im able to make the world a better place,andthinsp; Towns said. So Im excited.

Etc.

andensp;Asked for a behind-the-scenes report on how the team took the news of Butler asking for a trade, forward Gorgui Dieng never one to stir the pot just smiled. Thats why we have a locker room, he said.

andensp;Justin Patton arrived at media day with a smile and a walking boot. His rookie year was lost to a broken left foot. This year hes coming off right foot surgery that will keep him out indefinitely. Im doing great, he said. Im always in good spirits. When this one happened, honestly, it kind of took me back a little bit. But I have to listen to myself, get ready every day and get through it.

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