Alexey Shved | 2013-14 Profile
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images
Editor’s Note: Throughout the next month, Timberwolves.com will take a look back at the Wolves’ 2013-14 roster individually and look ahead to the upcoming offseason and 2014-15 campaign. Part IV looks back on Alexey Shved’s second year with the team.
PG/SG | 6-foot-6, 187 pounds
2013-14 season: 63 GP, 10.5 MPG, 4.0 PPG, .321 FG%, .294 3FG%
Alexey Shved’s role on the Wolves’ bench dipped significantly during the 2013-14 season compared to his rookie year, and part of the reason for that was circumstantial based on the roster makeup. The Wolves went out during the offseason and brought in starting shooting guard Kevin Martin, who gave the team the length and outside shooting it sought for so long. They also used Chase Budinger and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute—who was a mid-season acquisition via the Derrick Williams trade—as well as rookies Shabazz Muhammad and Robbie Hummel in that wing role.
But the other half of the equation is Shved’s ability to produce while in the lineup. He at times looked lost on the court this season, and his confidence level dipped severely from Year 1 to Year 2. In the end, Shved’s minutes dipped from 23.9 per game in 2012-13 to 10.5 in 2013-14.
Again, as a rookie Shved was thrust into a more prominent role than he or likely even coach Rick Adelman expected. In 2012-13, the Wolves suffered injuries to Brandon Roy, Budinger and Malcolm Lee all within the first few weeks of the season. The Wolves ran with Shved as a starter and later as a primary backup off the bench, and early on he succeeded. After a trip to All-Star Weekend for the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge that February, he seemed to struggle in the second half of the year. Part of that seemed like it might have been the “rookie wall,” given he had never played an 82-game season over in Europe.
But this year, he was never able to gain sustained minutes and find his niche on the floor. He shot 398 fewer field-goal attempts this past season than during his rookie year, and he made 160 fewer baskets. Shved is a talented shooter and ball handler, but the challenge he faces is being able to showcase he has the expertise to be a point guard or off guard in the league.
His biggest strengths include being able to hit from outside as well as bring a little bit of the same flair as Rubio when he sets up his teammates. We saw a ton of that in his first year, and we've even seen some flashes of aggressiveness to the rim. The key for Shved moving forward will be consistency.
Right now, the Wolves have a hard time figuring out where and how to play him. A boost in confidence and an offseason of hard work and fine-tuning his shot would go a long way. While he puts up shots in practice and after practice, the fluidity of the motion isn’t always the same. Continuity in his shooting motion would help him find that groove, and perhaps that groove would help him continue building confidence.
Alexey Shved’s Top Games
Dec. 27 vs. Wizards: All-around, this might have been Shved’s top game of the 2013-14 season. He played 23 minutes off the bench, and although he was just 3-of-7 from the field he scored 13 points and was 2-of-2 from 3-point range. He went 5-of-6 from the free-throw line, brought down five rebounds—two on the offensive end—and added a block and an assist. Most importantly, the Wolves beat the Wizards 120-98.
Jan. 12 vs. Spurs: The Wolves lost this one in San Antonio, but Shved put together a strong showing off the bench. He scored 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting in 23 minutes, including 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range. Shved also added three boards and two steals on the night. It was the second of three consecutive double-digit scoring games, and he had six double-digit efforts in a nine-game stretch between Jan. 1-18.
Jan. 1 vs. Pelicans: Shved played 17 minutes off the bench and went 2-of-4 from 3-point range—all four of his field-goal attempts in the contest came from beyond the arc—while scoring 10 points and adding three boards and two assists. He was aggressive enough to get to the line, going 4-for-4 from the stripe during the contest. He also picked up a block and a steal.
Top Offseason Objectives
The biggest thing Shved needs to do this offseason is get confidence back up to where it was both during Russia’s successful play in 2012 as well as during his first half season with the Timberwolves. We aren’t that far removed from Shved being selected to the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend in Houston back in 2013. That weekend, he wowed his peers, television analysts and fans alike with his athleticism and his shooting. But ever since that weekend, he’s seemed to lack confidence in his game. He hasn’t been a factor in games since that early part of his rookie season. Another thing he needs to work on is his strength. At 6-foot-6 and 187 pounds, he’s susceptible to taking a bruising over the course of an 82-game season. And third, he’s a combo-guard that hasn’t found his niche in the league. He’s viewed more as a ball handler, but he’s really unable to get minutes in that regard because of Ricky Rubio and J.J. Barea ahead of him on the depth chart. He has the length of a 2-guard, but he hasn’t found the shooting rhythm to be successful there, either. He’s got the potential, as we’ve seen, but he needs to find the right role while finding a way to build confidence on the court.
They Said It…
“More aggressive. He’s just more aggressive. Doing more on the floor. He goes from rebounding to running the floor to covering/helping on defense. He’s just much more active and much more aggressive than he was before and he has to just keep going on that.” — Wolves coach Rick Adelman after Shved’s improved play in December/January