Dario Saric will keep working on his shot after practice, like he always does. And he’s confident that the mini-slump he has experienced will end.
In the meantime, he admits, it’s been frustrating.
“Of course it’s frustrating,” Saric said. “I mean, any man, if his job isn’t going very well, he’s going to be frustrated. I try to be ready for the next game, and start there.”
Saric, who splits time at power forward with Taj Gibson, entered Saturday’s game against New Orleans at Target Center having made just five of his past 17 three-point attempts over the previous six games. In that same time his overall shooting percentage is 34.9.
Late in Friday’s loss to Dallas, Saric passed up a three-point attempt, opting to pass the ball to Derrick Rose. After the game he said his difficult night — Saric was 0-for-5 overall, 0-for-3 on three-pointers — might have played into that decision.
But Saric also said he’s determined to shoot his way out of the slump. And interim coach Ryan Saunders wants him to continue shooting, too. He talked with Saric after Friday’s game and again before Saturday’s game.
“You keep instilling confidence,” Saunders said. “But install genuine confidence. And we believe in that. I believe in that.”
Said Saric: “I work on my shot. It will come, you know?”
Karl-Anthony Towns — who made his 289th straight start despite suffering an injury Friday — hosted 12-year-old Isaac Zude as part of the Make-a-Wish program Saturday.
Zude, a big fan of the Wolves and of Towns in particular, is living with leukemia. Born in Kentucky, Zude now lives in Davenport, Iowa. He and his family attended Saturday night’s game, watching warmups from the bench and meeting Towns after the game.
And if Zude was happy for the opportunity, so was Towns.
“When I found out about it, and when I got the opportunity to do it, I couldn’t tell you how happy I was,” Towns said. “You never think that someone having a Make-a-Wish opportunity wants to meet somebody like me. It’s a humbling and touching experience that I’m very honored to have.”
Towns is the second Wolves player to take part in the program this season; Rose was a host last Sunday.
For Towns, it offers much-needed perspective. “I think as players, sometimes we forget,” he said. “We get so caught up in tough losses and great wins and a lot of the hype around you, this and that. There’s a bigger thing than just playing a game of basketball.”
Saunders is committed to getting his team to take fewer long two-point shots. Here’s one way he’s done it: In a recent scrimmage during practice, Saunders made long twos worth a negative point.
“It’s something we worked on,” Saunders said. “We’re trying to acclimate guys to that mind-set with in-game situations.”
• Rose (ankle) was held out of Saturday’s back end of a back-to-back.