Times are crazy in Minnesota right now. No, really, there are so many different things going on in the Minnesota sports scene that just don’t make a ton of sense, or we aren’t really used to.
The Minnesota Timberwolves may be the best team in the NBA as of this writing, and they have the best defense. The Minnesota Twins made the playoffs and won their first playoff game in nearly twenty years. The Vikings are without Kirk Cosuins and looking to be a wild-card team in the division, and the Wild are a bottom team in their division.
Oh yeah, I also forgot to mention that the Timberwolves may currently have one of the best players in the league. I mean, that’s what some of the scouts are saying. According to HoopsHype, one scout has very high thoughts on Anthony Edwards and his 2023-24 season start.
"“Anthony Edwards is a top-10 player in the NBA right now,” an NBA scout told HoopsHype. “He’s the real deal and plays both sides of the ball. Minnesota has two top-10 NBA defenders: Rudy Gobert, with his rim protection, and Jaden McDaniels, one of the best defenders on the perimeter. People forget they played Denver in the last few games of their series. I think they can be a real threat in the West.”"
Two things in this quote are important, but let’s start with the Edwards one first: Let’s start with Edwards’s defense because I believe he has made a huge jump this season in his on-ball perimeter defense.
He has the 11th-best defensive rating in the league. Naz Reid and Kyle Anderson are in the top 10, while Shake Milton is at 12. But we aren’t currently talking about that. Edwards also has the eighth-best net rating of the year. He also has a 17 PIE, or Player Impact Estimate, which is 14th in the league. So, yeah, he is doing pretty well.
As for the other statement, the Timberwolves have defenders all over their roster, but Rudy Gobert and Jaden McDaniels are holding it down. Naz Reid is still a pretty good defender, and Mike Conley has great defensive possessions, such as Wednesday against the Pelicans, where he forced a turnover in the corner.
This team’s defense is more than just those two. The offense and defense are as good as they have been in a very long time.