If you want to find fault with the Minnesota Timberwolves roster right now, then a good place to start is this moment of the post-season interview held by Timberwolves power forward Karl Anthony Towns after a 42-40 season and being turned away in Round 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs by the Denver Nuggets by a 4-1 record.
The reason that this is a thread that should not be pulled right now is not what was said, but the reason why it was said. The basic premise is that veteran Timberwolves power forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns was sacrificing shots to help his 21-year-old teammate Anthony Edwards develop as a player:
Evening out the shot totals is a pretty light excuse for anyone on the basketball court. Basketball teams want to win. Winning basketball teams find ways to get the ball into the hands of the hot shooter. Throughout the NBA playoffs, Timberwolves shooting guard Anthony Edwards was that guy.
A Star Is Born
I’m fairly certain that if you are competing in the postseason, and you are counting the number of shots you are taking versus the number of shots teammates are taking, then your head is really not as ‘in the game,’ as it needed to be.
That was not the case for center teammate Rudy Gobert, whose offense truly depends on taking up a position near the basket and being fed lob passes to get scores. And for the most part, Towns was effective at getting assists in games by doing so.
But comparing assists between Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards shows that the two were closely aligned in the regular season, but that Edwards outpaced Towns in the postseason. Is this an NBA version of A Star Is Born, where a fading star of a veteran NBA player dims as a new star is born?
The difference in this story; however, is that Anthony Edwards has already been discovered, He is a rising star in the NBA, with or without Karl-Anthony Edwards in the mix. But what may be similar is the question of whether Karl-Anthony Towns’ star is beginning to fade.