The lone Iron Man on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster so far this season has been young shooting guard Anthony Edwards. The Timberwolves have played to a 19-21 record so far, in the 2022-23 NBA season, and the only player to suit up and start in all 40 games has been one player: Anthony Edwards.
Not only has he suited up for each game, but he has been the duct tape to patch up whatever the Timberwolves roster needs from him at the time. He has become the go-to guy for Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch. And it’s that selfless style of play that marks his ascension to the future NBA elite status.
Er . . . Houston, we have a problem though. Anthony Edwards had a very substandard performance against the LA Clippers before leaving the game early. Against the LA Clippers, Edwards played 23 minutes, scored five points, had three rebounds, passed out five assists, and had one blocked shot. He was forced to leave the game with 7:53 remaining in the third quarter due to hip soreness.
Injured, but still carrying the load
Edwards suffered a bruised hip/tailbone in a frightening loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, December 30. At the time, Edwards had not only started all the Timberwolves games, but he was playing a frighteningly high average of 37 minutes per game:
Since the injury, the Minnesota Timberwolves have eased up on the throttle for Edwards. His 40 minutes played against the Milwaukee Bucks, the game in which his injury occured, has been the apex of this playing time. Since then he has played:
Dec. 31 – Detroit Pistons: 39 minutes
Jan. 2 – Denver Nuggets: 36 minutes
Jan. 4 – Portland Trail Blazers: 36 minutes
Jan. 6 – LA Clippers: 23 minutes
But it has been over a week, and the concern now is that Edwards has not rested long enough to heal. Now the question, or perhaps more aptly categorized as a concern, is whether the Timberwolves have pushed Edwards too hard. More than a week later, he was clearly bothered by the injury and was forced to leave the game early.
Is the injury more serious than originally believed?
Rest or play Anthony Edwards? That is the question
If there are any lingering issues from the injury, or concerns by the Minnesota Timberwolves training staff, this is as good of a time as any to bench Edwards for the next two games. The Timberwolves must now tackle a two-game road trip at the Houston Rockets (10-29) on Sunday, January 8, 2023, and the Detroit Pistons (11-31) on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.
The Timberwolves return home to a three-game homestand against the Phoenix Suns (20-20), the Cleveland Cavaliers (25-15), and the Utah Jazz (20-21).
Strategically, Edwards is far more vital to the team in the upcoming home stand and could be rested over the next two games.
Of course, we know that the Timberwolves’ performance this season has been far too unpredictable to believe that this team can win any games without Anthony Edwards. But the latest showing of Edwards against the Clippers suggests that it’s become a question of rest a little now, or rest a lot in the future.
Should the early exit of Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Anthony Edwards worry you? I don’t have the answer to that. All I can say is that it does indeed worry me.