Anthony Edwards is HIM but the Timberwolves are So Much More Than HIM

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, NBA Playoffs 2024
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves are now 5-0 this postseason, after defeating the reigning NBA Champion Denver Nuggets 106-99, in game one of the Western Conference semifinals.

The Wolves jumped out to a big lead in the 1st quarter but the Nuggets immediately closed it and made it clear that Anthony Edwards & Co would need to earn their W’s in this series. But, we’re in a new era of Timberwolves basketball and this team isn’t afraid to put in the work.

Anthony Edwards is HIM…

Saturday evening was a grind. Nikola Jokic is arguably the best player in the world. But guess what, by the time this entire thing is over, 22-year-old phenom Anthony Edwards might be the only dude up on that plateau with him.

Last night was about so much more than the rise of Ant, though. Yes, it was Edwards who hit most of the Wolves’ big shots down the stretch; and yes, he scored 43 points (59% FG), grabbed 7 rebounds and helped shut down Nuggets’ perimeter star, Jamal Murray. And yes, he may be the next Michael Jordan. All that is true.

… but the Minnesota Timberwolves are way more than Ant…

But the Minnesota Timberwolves are so much more than one, two or even three stars. The longer this season goes on, the more clear it becomes that the Wolves’ greatness stems from basketball being a team game and their roster being the best and deepest in the entire NBA.

They have seven starters — if you include Naz Reid and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who would start on most teams across the league — and their size, length, speed and power are unmatched. No matter how your team is built, the Timberwolves seem to have an answer.

Still, their secret goes even deeper than their talent. This Wolves team seems to be more connected, both on and off the floor, than most teams at any level, especially the NBA. I’ll let Rudy Gobert explain it to you.

“I think [our secret] is overcoming adversity. And I don’t think it started this year, I think it started last year. With all the things we went through as a team and individually, it made us more resilient and it built that trust that we have in one another and that love that we have for one another, you know? I really think, I’ve never been part of a group that really understands each other, that cares about one another and wants to see each other shine. In this league, it’s not something you find very often. I love going to battle every night with these guys. I’m really having a lot of fun.”

Rudy Gobert on how connected the Minnesota Timberwolves are

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Rudy Gobert has been in the league for a really long time and he has played basketball all over the world. To have a veteran like that talk this highly of the Wolves’ locker room chemistry speaks volumes. That type of atmosphere doesn’t happen overnight or without difficult moments.

… and Edwards knows it.

Watch this back and forth with Anthony Edwards and Mike Conley at the podium, after last night’s win. Even Ant, the rising superstar, is just another one of the guys.

And a youngster, at that. The coaching staff and veteran players hold him accountable at every turn, and he thrives on it. All this great locker room love/chemistry starts with him. He’s their selfless killer.

Reporter: “[Mike], was the 2nd half one of those occasions where you knew you had to come out and be a scorer and be much more aggressive?”

Conley: “Nah, Ant was shooting all the balls in the 1st half, so it was hard to get in a rhythm…”

Ant: [Nearly dies laughing]

Ant + Conley interview after game 1 victory over Nuggets

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That’s it. That’s all I have. I’m really starting to believe that this Minnesota Timberwolves team has a real shot to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy, when this is all said and done.

Not just because they have Anthony Edwards or because they have more depth than just about any other team still competing. But because they seem to have a team togetherness that is incredibly rare, at that level.

Here are some more clips and quotes from last night that show the love this Minnesota Timberwolves team has for one another, and how that affects everything they do on the court.

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