Anthony Edwards Compared to All-Time Greats Following Game 1 Win at Denver

Just 19-years-old when he was selected with the first overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2020s NBA draft, the expectations for the future of Anthony Edwards were high. Now, at just 22, he’s exceeding them.

On Saturday night, the Timberwolves began their second-round playoff series at the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets. Their Game 1 win gave notice to the rest of the league that their first-round domination of the Phoenix Suns was no fluke, and Edwards is not your normal star in the making. He is a generational talent.

In beating the Nuggets 106-99, Edwards scored a playoff career-high of 43 points. It was the most points scored by any member of the Timberwolves in any playoff game. On the list of top scoring games in franchise postseason history, he now ranks first, second, and third.

He’s 22.

One of his fall-away jumpers was shown next to an old replay of Michael Jordan, and the similarities were striking. The comparisons that he has drawn to Jordan and Kobe Bryant in the past are being solidified by his performance in the playoffs. Not only is he a scoring machine, he has become a team leader on the court.

He also speaks like a leader to the media.

“We’re just coming out to play. It’s not about introducing us to nobody, we know what we are,” said Edwards. “We’re a collective group. We trust each other, we’re well-coached.”

That collective group got a huge lift from Naz Reid in the fourth quarter, where he scored 14 of his 16 points. He was also one the three Minnesota big men tasked with defending soon to be three-time MVP Nikola Jokić.

The numbers for Jokić were good – 32 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists – but he took 25 shots, the most he has taken all year. The Nuggets are at their best when Jokić is playing pass-first basketball.

At 22, Edwards already understands the political game of basketball. He called Jokić the “best player in the world” and Jamal Murray the NBA’s “best closer.”

On Saturday, it was Minnesota that was the better team, and Edwards that looked the face of the NBA.

Game 2 Monday

The second game of this second round series is Monday night in Denver, and the Nuggets are 5.5-point favorites. Denver is paying -218 on the moneyline, while Minnesota is +180.

All of that makes sense. The Nuggets finished the regular season tied for the second-best home record in the NBA at 33-8. They lost back-to-back home games just once this season. However, the second of those two losses was to the Timberwolves on March 29. That followed a loss to Phoenix on March 27.

Murray was out for that game because of an ankle and knee injury, and on Saturday, he was slowed down by the left calf strain that he sustained in the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The over/under for Edwards’ point total on Monday is 28.5, which is five points below his average for these playoffs. Murray scored 17 points on Saturday, and his over/under for Monday is 22.5.

Minnesota has covered the spread in five straight games, including three straight wins when they were the underdog. Denver has covered just once in their last five games, and they have lost outright two of their last three games as the favorite.

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