From: Las Vegas
The Spurs, playing without injured key guards Devin Vassell and Joshua Primo, loaded up on Edwards (put more defenders on the side of the floor Ant had the ball) in an effort take away his driving ability. That didn’t bother him.
“San Antonio goes under all my ball screens, all my flare screens. I told myself any time they go under, I’m shooting it every time. It worked out tonight,” he explained, nodding his head.
It’s part of an exciting growth curve we’re all seeing play out in front of our eyes. Edwards isn’t just playing the game. He’s thinking it, reading it, and reacting to it in real time — a massive leap from his sophomore season. That leap is something Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch hoped would happen this year.
Now, defenses are switching more to in aims of keep him in front — but he sees it coming.
“The first couple times I come out, I kind of just play, like get off the ball, see what they doing,” Edwards said in the locker room after the game. “Then later in the first, that’s when I started to be aggressive once I realize, ‘OK they switching I’mma play off the catch. They can’t stop me now.’ So I kind of just read the game.”
A key part of that is understanding when to get off the ball, too. After his first pair of makes, he put the ball on the deck with the intention of drawing in defenders before kicking the ball back out to Jaden McDaniels in the slot for an open 3; that was the first of three made 3s Edwards created for others in the first. His playmaking got both McDaniels and Jaylen Nowell in a rhythm early, as both Seattle natives scored first quarter eight points on 3/3 shooting.
The young phenom created 27 of the team’s 39 first quarter points between his scoring and assisting, setting a dominant yet unselfish tone for the game. Edwards scored 16 in the first en route to his third game in six nights scoring north of 30 points.