Anthony Edwards Gives Chris Finch His Flowers

NBA Playoffs - Minnesota Timberwolves, Chris Finch, Anthony Edwards
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves walked into a Game 7 against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night and dug themselves a 20-point hole. They then battled all the way back out of it and emerged victorious. At the end of it, star guard Anthony Edwards had nothing but praise for his head coach Chris Finch.

Over the years, the Minnesota Timberwolves have seen differing levels of ineptitude, throughout the organization. From the lineup, front office, coaching staff and trickling down to players. For the majority of their 25 year history the Wolves have been a mess. But not anymore. Now, there may not be a team in this league walking more lockstep and in harmony than the one in Minneapolis.

On a night when the Timberwolves could not find their footing and their 22-year-old superstar played his ‘B’ game — against the defending champions — head coach Chris Finch, assistant Micah Nori, and the rest of the coaching staff the squad locked in, patient. Then, when the opening presented itself in the 3rd quarter, they struck. Like an unstoppable wave of fury.

Anthony Edwards praises Minnesota Timberwolves’ head coach Chris Finch

At the postgame podium, during one of the most entertaining postgame press conferences in league history, Anthony Edwards (with KAT right next to him) discussed a myriad of vibrant topics. But when the conversation turned to who deserves the flowers for the first Western Conference Finals appearance for the Wolves in 20 years, Ant had one man on his mind: head coach, Chris Finch.

“It starts with our head coach, Chris Finch. He comes in every day. He comes in every day. He’s thinking of ways to get me and KAT open looks. He’s thinking of ways to get Mike and Rudy open looks. He’s thinking of ways to get Jaden involved. He’s trying to keep Naz in it to get him involved. He’s just a great coach and he don’t sugarcoat things with anybody.

If KAT f**cking up, he gon’ get on Kat. If I’m f**cking up he gon’ get on me. If Rudy f**cking up, he gon’ get on anybody that’s messing up throughout the game, and I think that’s what makes him the best coach in the NBA to me because no matter who it is, no matter how high the player is on the pole he gon’ get on you from start to finish. It starts with the head of the snake and and he’s the head of our snake. We all listen to him, look up to him, and he does a great job of making sure we’re ready to go every night.”

[Side Bar] Once again, in the midst of fun answers and smiles, Anthony Edwards showed a level of leadership during this presser that is well beyond his years. For a player that is still coming into his own, at just 22 years old, on a night when he might have been the worst starter on the floor for most of the game, spent most of this press conference praising everyone else.

Related: Comparing Anthony Edwards’ Playoff Resume to MJ, LeBron and Kobe

A lot of the NBA world frowned upon the Timberwolves’ hiring of Chris Finch, a few years ago. They hired him midseason off of another team’s bench. No interim, no search, no process. Then GM Gerson Rosas knew who he wanted, and he’s the only guy he called. Now, we are starting to see why.

Not every coach could bring a team, with this much talent, together the way Finchy has. But not only is he a connector and amazing at handling egos, he’s a master of X’s and O’s too. He’s the one who had to bring Tim Connelly’s modern twin tower vision to life, when they acquired Rudy Gobert. It was Finch who had to figure out how to make that work, all while selling a defense-first philosophy to a team full of offensive talent.

Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns own the postgame moment

Edwards certainly wasn’t worried about the nine years Karl Anthony Towns has spent in purgatory with the Timberwolves, and the pair of them found a question about losing beyond comical.

Minnesota sports fans have seen enough heartbreak, and while neither Edwards or Towns have been here long enough to experience all of it, they feel they paid their penance and now is their time.

As the pair turn the page and focus on the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, they will do so as favorites and can advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. Eight wins separate Minnesota from an eventual parade, and making that happen would be something the entire state could get behind.

Related: Timberwolves Open as West Finals Favorite vs Dallas Mavericks

After his patellar tendon tear that has Micah Nori taking more of a front man role, it’s clear that Finch remains plenty involved for Minnesota. It’s something his players see as well, and continuing to do the job for their head coach appears to be more than a simple motivating factor.

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