Ant Said it, but Karl-Anthony Towns Forced Charles Barkley to Bring His Ass to Minnesota

NBA Playoffs - Minnesota Timberwolves - Karl-Anthony Towns
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves took the court on Sunday, Kevin Garnett’s 48th birthday, and played one of the biggest games in franchise history, a game 7 vs the defending NBA champions, with a trip to the Western Conference Finals on the line.

Despite being down by 15 points at halftime, and a deficit that grew as large as 20, the Wolves were able to turn things around in the 3rd quarter and mount a comeback that made history. And now, the Minnesota Timberwolves are heading to the Western Conference Finals.

Mike Conley, Rudy Gobert, Anthony Edwards, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker combined to go 2-for-22 in the first half. None of them could find any sort of success, and Edwards’ performance was especially concerning.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves teammates pickup Anthony Edwards

For some reason, he was deferring to others on almost every possession, and it seemed as though his unshakable confidence was suddenly gone, along with his killer instinct. But halfway through the 3rd quarter, something seemed to click inside of Ant’s teammates.

While Edwards’ struggles continued, his cohorts, especially Karl Anthony Towns (23 pts, 12 reb), Jaden McDaniels (23 pts, 7 reb) and later on, Naz Reid (7 of 11 points in final 7 minutes) put Ant and the rest of the Wolves on their backs.

But it was KAT who proved all of his haters wrong on Sunday. His 23 points and 12 rebounds were both team highs. And despite racking up five fouls halfway through the 4th quarter, Towns remained on the court through the final buzzer.

A poor shooting night from Edwards turned when he nailed a late three-pointer, and it was again sixth man of the year Naz Reid that put up incredible minutes. His tip slam in the 4th quarter was something of a punctuation mark, and the only thing left was for Minnesota to watch the clock tick away.

Hosting the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, Anthony Edwards will welcome Charles Barkley and the TNT team to Minneapolis. Postgame Barkley noted it had been some time since he had visited the state, and Edwards told him it was time to end that stretch.

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Noting Kyrie Irving will be his matchup, Edwards is flipping the page to the next round. As the three seed Minnesota will have plenty of momentum riding back to the Target Center. The Timberwolves went 3-1 against Dallas this season, and they held down home court advantage winning both matchups in Minnesota.

Luka Doncic is the next superstar that the defense will have to contend with, and that side of the ball has been the team’s calling card all year long. The Denver Nuggets are the latest defending champion that fails to advance beyond the second round, and Minnesota taking down a juggernaut like that en route to the final round on their side of the bracket is something else.

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The Timberwolves have to hope that Edwards returns to form on Wednesday in Game 1 against the Mavericks, and if that happens out of the gate, then Minnesota has to be excited about their chances to advance.

In what might have been the best game in franchise history, a Timberwolves fan base was able to believe in a team that truly has shown incredible levels of ability. The ride isn’t over yet. Someone check on Draymond Green.

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