FanPost

The Anthony Edwards Experience

What if I told you that there is a man who can fly, save a city, and restore peace to the people around him? No, it isn't Superman. What we like to call him, is Ant-Man. The Wonder Boy carries himself with a presence like no other, and a sheer confidence that is only to be admired from a 20 year old. With just two feet and an insane vertical, he has brought Minneapolis back to its hidden love for basketball. With a knack for all things involving sports, he is simply an anomaly. His raw talent can only be compared to the likes of world class superstars, and the top athletes across generations. He has arrived to bring the Timberwolves back to glory, and as he likes to say, "Wolves Back!" Welcome to the Anthony Edwards experience.


Anthony Edwards came into the league at potentially the strangest time possible. After his freshman season at Georgia had been cut short, he was drafted with the number one overall pick in the 2020 draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. For many Wolves fans his charismatic personality was introduced in his interview on Wolves Plus with Marney Gellner. The two of them discussed many topics including his natural gift for sports, his family, and his excitement to begin his NBA career. When discussing all of the sports that Edwards was capable of playing, he famously said, "Whatever you need me to do, I bet you I'll be A1 from day one." From that moment on, it's safe to say that Wolves fans were invested in Anthony Edwards.


Anthony Edwards' rookie year was one to be remembered. Starting his career with new protocols for COVID-19 and in empty stadiums, it was certainly challenging to adjust to the NBA. The first half of Edwards' rookie year showed promise, but wasn't as spectacular as many had hoped. However after the All-Star break, it was as if Edwards shifted into another gear. With a spring in his step, and an all new explosive energy, he began to make his mark on the league. Edwards had over 20 points in all but 10 of the last 36 games of the season, and had players like LeBron James and Paul George notably praising him in press conferences and on social media. He also notched two games in which he scored over 40 points to the stat books, showing his ability to take over games in the blink of an eye. He finished the season with 19.3 points per game averaging only .417 from the field, but showing that there was much more to come in the future. Not to mention the absurdity of his rim rocking dunks over other players, including the NBA's top voted dunk of the year when he threw it down over Raptors forward Yuta Watanabe. Though the Timberwolves record of 23-49 didn't necessarily stand out, it was clear that they were building young talent in the shadows, and would be soon lurking around the playoffs.


Currently by March 28th, Anthony Edwards has displayed a roller coaster of ups and downs in his second year. The Timberwolves are now standing only 1.5 games out of the 6th seed to avoid the play-in tournament, with a strong record of 43-33. Edwards is averaging 21 points per game on an improved .434 from the field. While the statistics aren't a catastrophic leap, it is still an improvement from last season. However, his most impressive improvement has been his on ball defense, which was his most glaring weakness in his rookie year. This year, he’s been matched up on stars like LeBron James and Luka Doncic. If you have been to Target Center this season, there is no hiding that nothing gets the crowd going like an Edwards explosion. Edwards' ability to create shots in isolation with ease, whether it is his footwork in the paint or his frequently used stepback to a three point shot, can cause freakish bursts of scoring that get the crowd going. When Edwards gets hot, there is no slowing the Timberwolves down. Unfortunately, Edwards has had some new issues as of late. Nearing the All-Star break he notably started to slow down, and began suffering from left patella tendinopathy. The past few weeks since returning from a short hiatus to recover from the injury, he has had trouble finishing at the rim, which is a major detriment to someone who generates so much scoring from the paint. These issues don't appear to be holding him back too much, being that he scored 24 points against the Celtics last night on March 27th, so hopefully they don't loom over him as the Wolves approach the playoffs.


What many don't understand is that Anthony Edwards is so much more than what the stats show. It isn't just his game, but his personality that allows for him to make headlines throughout national media. Whether he scores five points or 40, as long as the Wolves win, he walks away with the biggest smile on his face. Some may even recall that his narrative coming into the league was that "he didn't like basketball." Today that narrative can only be looked back upon as laughable. He grinds to improve his craft without being a cancer in the locker room, and the hottest take that he has made in a press conference is that Popeyes fries are top four. Edwards is always dialed into his team's success, even when he is standing by the bench in the final two minutes yelling for Jake Layman to jack up a three. He's even the first one to get the water bottles when it's time to pour water on one of his teammate's head's after they achieve a milestone. His excitement to go out on the court and play basketball is unparalleled. He tends to be so enjoyable that it's even hard to make slight criticisms on his play, though many are warranted for a young player who still has holes in his game.

As the Timberwolves continue to make their playoff push over these final 6 games, Anthony Edwards will be a big part of making that happen. It is wonderful to see how Target Center's atmosphere has transformed throughout the season, and that Edwards can be attributed to rejuvenating this fanbase. Each game has a brand new life that is certainly thrilling. At this point in the season the Wolves have already surpassed their play-in tournament expectations, and are hoping to put up a competitive first round of the playoffs, which they seem very capable of doing. It will of course take all of the players to play their role to the best of their abilities, including Anthony Edwards. It's time to sit back and enjoy the rest of the Anthony Edwards experience.