Anthony Edwards' increasing popularity validated by impressive statistic

Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Minnesota Timberwolves star guard Anthony Edwards is receiving his flowers, and rightfully so. The 22-year-old is coming off his most successful regular season campaign after averaging 25.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. The former first-overall pick was named an All-Star for the second consecutive season and will likely end up on an All-NBA team.

Edwards has consistently been compared to arguably the greatest player of all time—Michael Jordan. From teammates to members of the media, to current and former players, Edwards received plenty of praise this past season and into the playoffs.

The young star is equal parts endearing and ruthless. Edwards' approach to the game and playstyle have made him so likable. The Minnesota guard's appeal is traceable on all forms of media. For instance, Edwards has generated the second-most views on social media this postseason, only behind another all-time great—LeBron James.

Furthermore, Edwards has gained more Instagram followers than any other player this postseason. Whether it be monster dunks, hilarious celebrations, or soaring blocks, all eyes have been on Edwards as he's shined under the bright lights.

In the Timberwolves' first-round sweep of the Phoenix Suns, he averaged 31.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. The Timberwolves star was also a poster boy for efficiency. Edwards shot 51.2 percent from the floor, 43.8 percent from beyond the arc, and 83.9 percent from the charity stripe.

Edwards will have ample opportunity to further increase his following. Minnesota will take on the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals. The two squads kick off the series with a bout on Saturday. It's all but likely the battle between the two Northwest Division foes will go to six or even seven games.

This season, Edwards averaged 26.0 points against the reigning champion Nuggets. Facing off against MVP favorite Nikola Jokic, Edwards will be tasked with transcending one of the best talents in the NBA. While outshining Jokic is quite a tall task, anything seems possible for the young Edwards at this point in his career.