Anthony Edwards Needs Some Teammates

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves Denver Nuggets, game 4
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves spent most of Friday night being embarrassed at home by the Denver Nuggets. Anthony Edwards put on his Superman cape and played virtually a one-on-five game that singlehandedly got the Wolves back into the game late. Unfortunately, none of his teammates could be found.

While it was great that Minnesota took a commanding series lead by winning the first two games in Denver, the way to capitalize on the good fortune was to return home and win at least one of these last two games. Instead they dropped both and Anthony Edwards, who took all the blame on Friday, was virtually the only player who can escape blame tonight.

Karl Anthony Towns Fails Anthony Edwards

For years the Timberwolves had been Karl Anthony Towns’ team. That didn’t change immediately when Anthony Edwards was drafted, but it didn’t take long for the youngster to establish himself. Towns has long been the exciting player that doesn’t show up in big moments, and has routinely spent more time whining to referees than he does making game-winning plays.

Needing to make sure that a team he has carried for years comes out on top for a mother’s day matchup, Towns wilted. He started on a long 0-fer-7 stretch and finished going 5-of-18 on the night and just 1-of-4 from deep. His 13 points were all volume shooting, and with early fouls, he was off the floor leaving Edwards to do everything himself.

NAW and Jaden Do Nothing for Edwards

Minnesota established an identity by being the best defensive team in the NBA. That was largely reflective of the abilities shown from both Jaden McDaniels and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. The latter was tagged with an unfortunate technical foul during Game 3, and neither of them provided any value during Game 4.

The pair combined to go 5-for-18 from the field, and it was only some late field goals by McDaniels that had either itching double figures. For the vast majority of the game Denver was shooting 60% from the field, and 50% from deep. The offensive prowess of both players was non-existent, and a defense that shouldn’t slump was nowhere to be found.

Wolves Players (Gm. 4)PtsMin
Anthony Edwards4445
Mike Conley1534
Karl-Anthony Towns1338
Rudy Gobert1135
Jaden McDaniels1138
Naz Reid1119
Nickeil Alexander-Walker224
Kyle Anderson06

Anthony Edwards had to do it all

As has been the case most of the season, Edwards remains the straw that stirs the Timberwolves’ drink. Once again the 22-year-old was tasked with being more mature than his age, but his 44 points wasn’t enough for his teammates, who just didn’t show up tonight.

Related: Where Did Anthony Edwards Finish in the NBA MVP Voting?

Expect him to reinvigorate the group as they go back to Denver, and hopefully Scott Foster remains far away from impacting this outcome any more than he has. Edwards is definitely an x-factor, and while he’ll need much more help than his teammates gave him tonight, there’s no reason to count Minnesota out as long as he’s on the floor.

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