Thursday, December 2, 2021

You Da One, Ant: Edwards doesn’t hold back from Wolves’ statement win over Miami

One of the first things Patrick Beverly did upon joining the Timberwolves was to establish the role of each player on the team.

how? By asking them face to face, in front of everyone including head coach Chris Finch.

“what is your role?” Beverly asked each player.

“It was beautiful,” Anthony Edwards recalled.

What better way to create accountability and understand the responsibilities that each player has to play in helping the team win.

So what was Edwards’ reaction? He would say no on Wednesday evening. He does not want to disclose it and the opposing teams have tried to get him out of it.

But he only said this:

“My role is what I did tonight, of course,” Edwards said after the Timberwolves’ 113-101 win over Miami in goal center.

It was everything he did.

He scored 33 points, scored 14 rebounds and made six assists. He delivered the sting of the year (only to be excused by a questionable charge call), hit all the key shots in crucial moments, defended tough and was the one who stood up to the big, bad, (former) wolves of Miami.

At just 20 years old, Edwards reached the team’s biggest opportunity ever, leading the way in every possible way, igniting an audience buying into the team.

Because Anthony Edwards re-establishes faith.

“He was electric. He is an electric player,” said Finch. “I have had a complete sense of timing throughout my youth career since I moved here. A lot of it was on the defensive as well. He had some big theft. Gets out in transition, makes some shots for his teammates. And then he’s not afraid of the moment or the big shot.”

In fact, he lives for it.

Malik Beasley described Wednesday as the “greatest game of the year”. Wolves entered the competition as four straight winners, all coming off in reassuring fashion. But only one of them came as a contender for the playoffs.

Wednesday presented itself as a chance to reinvent ourselves as a team. Not only is Miami (12-7) an Eastern Conference title contender, but it is a physical, experienced team—the kind of rival that has been given to Minnesota in the past.

It looked like the same thing would happen again on Wednesday. Karl-Anthony Towns took three fouls in the first five minutes, which postponed them for the rest of the first half. Beverly left the game early due to a groin injury, and did not return.

Sometimes it felt like the train was derailing.

Then Edwards would take it back on course.

In Minnesota’s recent blowout win, Edwards was more than happy to take a backseat. He took just 21 shots combined in major victories over Memphis and San Antonio, opting to let the others find their flow.

But Edwards knew it was his time to carry the load on Wednesday. Every time the Wolves (9-9) were in a dire situation, their primetime cast would rise to the occasion. It was the leg that kept the chair from turning.

“In those moments, I have no choice,” Edwards said. “I was just trying to stay as close as possible until the big dude (town) came back. It’s hard for us to protect him when he’s on the floor. So I just stay in the game.” Trying to stay in the game, stay in the game until he comes back.

Edwards finished with 17 points from the first half to keep Minnesota within eight.

With Towns back on the floor, Minnesota was back in the game in the third quarter. Wolves were two points late in the frame when Edwards committed a travel violation.

Heard it from fans every time he touched the ball on Wednesday, after Jimmy Butler, the franchise’s most recent villain, was forced to pull out of Minnesota. He got into some verbal back-and-forth with fans in the first few lines and began to get frustrated as the game ended.

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Butler was guarding Edwards when the young guard made the journey. Butler took the ball out of Edwards’ hands. This is the moment when teams from the previous Wolves will head into the corner, giving Butler authority over them.

It’s not in Edwards’ DNA at all. He pushed Butler, causing Butler to hit his face. The minor brawl was brief, and both players found a technical glitch, but a message was sent: the leader of the pack would not back down.

“He was getting the ball out of my hands, I was like Bru. You’re not that serious. The ball’s going to get there. You got the ball,” said Edwards. “I felt like I just had to let him chill . , He doesn’t fight anyone there. All that climbing on each other is stuff for the birds, man. I’m not going to fight. I don’t get into all this. That (stuff is) fake.”

And Edwards is for real.

After both were quiet for the first three quarters, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell joined Edwards at the table in the final frame. Towns had a night to shoot, but his late-game internal defense on Bam Adebayo went a long way toward finishing Minnesota off the heat, as did Russell’s 10 fourth-quarter points.

Yet Russell quickly dismissed a postgame question about him potentially handling the game in fourth. This moment was not his.

“We have a guy on our team named Anthony Edwards and he took over the game. Simple enough. He took over the game,” Russell said. “He was guarding, he was moving, he was boxing Was (out), he was rebounding. I think we see him moving around, in front of us.”

Wednesday was definitely a team victory. Russell also noted this. Malik Beasley played 38 minutes in Beverly’s absence, scoring a season-high 29 points on the strength of five triples. Jared Vanderbilt made 15 rebounds and four steals in 25 minutes.

Everyone played their part. Edwards starred in it.

“He’s got us over the hump,” Russell said. “Team Defense, everyone showed up and played their part, but he did it tonight.”

in every possible way. Fourteen rebounds against one of the league’s most physical teams was a statement.

“I took it upon myself to say, ‘Hey young dude, you go out there and have a little bang,'” Edwards said. “Do anything to win. I want to continue this streak as much as possible.”

Target Center was rowdy and raucous on Wednesday, just like Edwards likes it. The house was packed with a pre-thanksgiving crowd eager to cheer on the Wolves for their recent success and Boo Butler.

But the pain of Butler’s passing seems to be easing for Wolves fans now that they have their new superstar.

As the closing seconds ended on Wednesday, Butler walked off the court with a defeat, while Edwards, with his signature smile, was soaked in the moment with Wolves’ hungry fan base.

Out with the old, in with the new.

The crowd showered Edwards with “MVP” chants as they asked him to turn up the volume. The two-way love affair between the audience and the superstar continues at the target centre.

At the conclusion of the surprise show he put on Wednesday, as Edwards made his way through the Target Center tunnel, he gazed at the enthusiastic fan base, pointed to “Minnesota” on the front of his jersey and repeatedly shouted “Wolves back.” ! Wolves back!”

Perhaps, in the end, it’s the group returning the franchise to respectability and beyond.

“We do da Jack,” Edwards said in his postgame television interview.

quite possibly. Wednesday’s result suggested just as much. But it also provided further evidence for another possible coronation.

Butler was the last player to lead this oppressed franchise to the playoffs. Who’s next? As of now, everyone has a good idea of ​​whose role that role is.

You da one, ant.

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