On Tuesday night, Anthony Edwards set up 28 points in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. The next evening, Edwards had only eight points on 15 shots in another loss to the Pacers. This week has surely been a “two steps forward, one step back” stretch for Edwards. However, Edwards’ February play has been empowering after an unpleasant January.
Edwards has averaged 16.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 10 games this month. Every one of these figures is more than he has averaged in one or the other December or January. He’s presently outperforming his season averages in these categories.
There is no uncertainty Edwards is playing more. His 32.9 minutes are six minutes more each night than he played in his initial two months. Notwithstanding, that isn’t really why his production is better. Edwards’ 23% February usage rate is his lowest to-date. Producing more while using fewer possessions is a decent sign.
What has been different about Anthony Edwards?
Perhaps the greatest thing that stands apart is his playmaking. Anthony Edwards dished out only 35 assists in his initial 19 career games. He as of now has 34 in February in half as numerous games. Without a doubt, his partners could simply be hitting more shots by chance yet that may not be the lone explanation his help is up.
Anthony Edwards showed a desire to search for open partners early in the season however wasn’t exactly agreeable to the role yet. It’s difficult to know month-to-month where his turnovers come from on Basketball-Reference, however, he’s cut them down from 2.1 per game in January to 1.2 per game in February. Not those are passes, but rather he’s playing more minutes while cutting his usage and turnovers.
Doing different things other than scoring will procure player minutes in any event, when their shot isn’t falling. At the point when Anthony Edwards was 3-for-15 from the field on Wednesday, he actually had five rebounds, four assists, and just a single turnover in 39 minutes. Edwards is presumably not playing that numerous minutes if all he’s worried about is his getting his shots up.
Anthony Edwards’ shot selection is back on-track
Discussing shots — it seemed like Anthony Edwards acknowledged early in the season that few players could keep him from the rim. Sooner or later, defenses sorted out he wanted to drive, seen his poor 3-point shooting, and made him settle for jumpers he would not want to take. This is when Edwards ostensibly looked the most noticeably terrible he has the entire season.
Anthony Edwards really hasn’t quit attempting to get to the basket. A few observers complain about Edwards shying from contact, however, it’s most likely difficult to see the potential gain in taking contact when you’re not getting the calls. This has narratively made Edwards more adroit at staying away from contact and finishing.
Here are a few interesting Anthony Edwards scoring and shot selection trends:
- 56.4% of Edwards’ shots were 2-pointers in December yet rose to 59.2% in January to 61.5% this month.
- More 2-pointers implies fewer 3-pointers, as Edwards went from 43.6% of his shots coming from beyond the arc toward the beginning of the season to 38.5% in February.
- During Edwards’ “Rookie Wall” in January, he was scoring simply 38.2% of his points in the paint. Nearly, he scored 46.7% of his points in the paint in December and 48.8% in February.
At present, the more shots Anthony Edwards gets in the paint, the better. The Lakers gave him a great deal of good 3-point looks on Wednesday and he drilled five of them. That is extraordinary and he should keep on making those kinds of shots going ahead.
In any case, Anthony Edwards has been at his best when he’s getting to the basket. He’s as yet not taking many free throws, which is a disgrace since he’s an 80% free-throw shooter up until now.
It would likewise be acceptable to know precisely how helpful Karl-Anthony Towns has been for Edwards. Packing the paint against the Timberwolves is troublesome when Towns is out there extending the floor and taking consideration from Edwards.
We saw particularly in the Lakers game the open lanes Anthony Edwards had while Towns fired away from outside. The way that the early numbers on Towns and Edwards together are adequate is empowering.
Player development is seldom linear
The last time the Minnesota Timberwolves had a newbie of Anthony Edwards’ status, at least from a draft slot standpoint, was Towns. Towns didn’t have the valleys Edwards has however prospects like that are genuinely uncommon. Most players will battle and make you question every little thing about them.
For Anthony Edwards, these initial 10 games of February have been progressively promising. The shot selection looks better, he’s scoring more overall, and making more plays for partners while committing fewer turnovers. The entirety of this while playing starters minutes for the first time in his career.
No, it hasn’t been great yet Edwards has made an enormous step correctly up until now.