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Edwards aims for bounce back with 'lot of shots'

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Published in Basketball
Sunday, 26 May 2024 13:41

DALLAS -- Anthony Edwards has a plan for what the Minnesota Timberwolves need to do to get back in the Western Conference finals in Game 3 against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night:

Namely, more Anthony Edwards.

"Y'all are going to see it tonight, it's going to be a lot of shots," Edwards said after the Wolves' shootaround Sunday morning.

Edwards has averaged 20 points on a combined 11-for-33 shooting (33.3%) in the series thus far as Minnesota lost the first two games at home.

"I'm going to be super aggressive," Edwards said. "I haven't taken more than 16 shots in each game. So I'm going to be ultra-aggressive coming out, for sure."

The 22-year-old shooting guard averaged 27.7 points on 20.3 shot attempts over seven games in the Wolves' second-round series victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Edwards had a costly turnover in Game 2 vs. Dallas, throwing it out of bounds after driving into the lane and picking up his dribble near the free throw line when Mavs rookie center Dereck Lively II picked him up. He pivoted three times and then threw an errant pass to the wing, out of the reach of Naz Reid, sailing it into the courtside seats.

He said that looking to score in that situation would have prevented the turnover.

"I should've just shot the f---ing first shot," Edwards said. "It's just that simple."

The ever-confident Edwards said his team isn't discouraged by the predicament it faces, going on the road for Games 3 and 4 down 2-0.

"It didn't do nothing but add fuel to the fire for Game 3," Edwards said. "I think all my teammates ready to go, it's fun. ... I think we're in a pretty good mood. Everybody's smiling and joking. We know we're a good team. We know it's not over. I don't think anybody's worried. Just know we got to come ready to play tonight."

While Edwards blamed his late-game offensive decision making, Wolves forward Jaden McDaniels discussed his team's late-game defense against Luka Doncic. The Mavs' star hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with three seconds left over Rudy Gobert, the Defensive Player of the Year.

"I mean, Rudy made him take a tough shot," McDaniels said after shootaround. "So I mean, we're living with it. He probably would have tried to do the same shot versus me. So, I mean, everyone hits game winners, they miss [game winners]. So there's nothing really we can do about it. It's just on to the next game, really."

While McDaniels supported Gobert in his answer, his body language just before Doncic hit the shot on Gobert seemed to suggest he regretted the decision to switch off Doncic when Dallas ran a pick-and-roll. The game broadcast cameras caught McDaniels making almost a wincing face when looking back at Gobert stuck on an island guarding Doncic.

McDaniels explained his thinking in that moment: He wanted to stay on Doncic to try to get some payback for Doncic making a clutch shot from a similar spot on the floor late in Game 1, but he made the switch because Wolves coach Chris Finch called for it.

"I just wanted to guard him because he hit one on me last game," McDaniels said. "So I kind of just wanted to be able to guard him again in the same position. But I kind of knew I wasn't going to be able to just because what we were switching and what Coach asked for. So hopefully we're not going to be in that position again, but if we do, I'll make sure I'm not switching."

The two losses at home dropped Minnesota's record to 3-4 at the Target Center this postseason.

The Wolves have fared much better on the road, going 5-1, including a win at Denver in Game 7 to thwart the Nuggets' chance at a repeat championship.

"It kind of tells us that anything is possible," McDaniels said. "The Denver series, Denver Game 7, we were down by 20 and we just stayed together, fought back. It's kind of the same, it's just, we're down 2-0."

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