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Nowell Poised To Seize Opportunity In Beasley's Absence

by Cody Sharrett

New Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach Chris Finch will have his work cut out for him just two games into his tenure, now having to replace Malik Beasley's production following the NBA-issued 12-game suspension announced on Thursday. 

While filling in for Beasley will likely be by committee, second-year guard Jaylen Nowell is poised to handle more of the scoring load. 

"I see it as a great opportunity," Nowell told media Friday over Zoom. "I'm not gonna go out there and force anything. I'm not gonna go out there looking to put up more shots and step outside myself. I'm gonna keep playing the way I'm playing.

"I'm not going to overthink it."

Of late, Nowell has been a vital cog in the Wolves' second unit. After recovering from an injury to start the season, the University of Washington product is averaging 8.9 points per game on 34.4% shooting from three-point range. In February, Nowell has improved his shot, converting 38.1% of his three attempts per game from deep. 

Finch noted Friday that he hasn't yet made a decision on who will start in Beasley's place Saturday versus the Washington Wizards. Nowell will be ready if his number is called for his first NBA start.

"That would mean everything," Nowell said of starting. "Everything I worked for. That would be my first start, so obviously that's a big accomplishment. If that happens, it's cool.

"If it doesn't, that's cool, too."

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