Gorgui Dieng Can Make Impact For Minnesota Timberwolves If Given Playing Time
Gorgui Dieng hasn’t seen much playing time. In fact the Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t play him at all their last two games. To be fair, both games were fairly close and came against good opponents in the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets. Most of Dieng’s minutes thus far have come in garbage time, but he’s getting closer and closer to being able to play meaningful minutes.
The Wolves desperately need a backup center, as Ronny Turiaf has been sidelined for the season thus far, and Dante Cunningham is really more of a power forward. Dieng played four years of college ball at Louisville, and many projected him to be an NBA ready backup center with a fairly low ceiling. So far, he hasn’t exactly looked NBA ready in every facet of the game, but his rim defense has been solid.
A good rim defender would be a huge addition to the Wolves’ rotation, as starting center Nikola Pekovic isn’t known for blocking shots. Dieng, however, has averaged an astonishing 1.2 blocks per game while playing just six minutes per contest. That means per 36 minutes, Dieng is blocking 7.2 shots, an insane and likely unsustainable figure.
Even with Dieng’s shot blocking prowess, he will need to develop substantially before becoming a part of the rotation. Right now the offense and help defense simply aren’t there, but as Dieng adjusts to the NBA game, he should become at least serviceable in these weak areas. If Dieng is able to improve there, he should see decent minutes and significantly help the team.