Edwards primed to take on yet another tough defensive assignment against Dallas

Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Four
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Four / David Berding/GettyImages

Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Anthony Edwards might just be the most popular player in the NBA right now. The driving force behind the Wolves' revitalization, Edwards has dominated this postseason.

In 11 contests, the two-time All-Star has averaged 28.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. He's also knocked down shots with a high degree of efficiency. Edwards has connected on 50.4 percent of his field goals and 39.8 percent of his triples.

Aside from his counting stats, the high-flying guard has affected the game defensively in a big way. In the first round against the Phoenix Suns, Edwards limited three-time All-Star Bradley Beal to just 13 points in 24 minutes.

Edwards' defense was equally important as his offense in the Conference Semifinals. The 23-year-old guard defended Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope all over 23 minutes. The trio combined to make just 12 of 51 field goals against Edwards—a measly 23.5 percent.

Throughout the postseason, Edwards' defense has led to a 10 percent decrease in his opponent's field goal percentage. The 6-foot-4 guard is especially stifling at the rim, forcing his matchups to shoot 15.8 percent worse at the rim. Of all players to defend more than 100 field goals this postseason, Edwards ranks first in field goal differential.

Edwards will take on yet another tough matchup in the Conference Finals. This time, it'll be eight-time All-Star Kyrie Irving.

Irving averaged 25.6 points per game in his first full season playing for the Dallas Mavericks. In the playoffs, the star guard has averaged 21.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. The lightning-quick guard has proved to be a tough cover, knocking down 48.2 percent of his field goals and 44.0 percent of his 3-pointers.

Irving appeared in only one of four contests against the Timberwolves in the regular season. In his lone appearance, Irving dropped 35 points, cashing in on 6-of-8 triples in the process. When defended by Edwards, Irving scored 11 points and made 5-of-7 field goals.

The Wolves will expect more from their star guard in the playoffs. With Jaden McDaniels tasked with defending perennial MVP candidate Luka Doncic, Edwards' defensive responsibility is heightened.

It's once again time for the potential future face of the league to lock in defensively. He's been relied upon to carry a heavy offensive burden, but his defense and competitiveness are truly what makes Edwards such a respected player around the league.