The 1 thing that could doom the Timberwolves if not corrected quickly

Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game One
Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game One / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

The Minnesota Timberwolves were defeated on their home floor last night. The Wolves lost a hard-fought battle to the Dallas Mavericks—108-105. Although the score was close, you wouldn't know it upon peeking at the box score.

Anthony Edwards scored only 19 points, connecting on 6-of-16 field attempts. He often settled for 3-pointers, shooting 12 of his 16 attempts from beyond the arc. Edwards shot it well, canning five triples, but exchanged his signature acrobatic drives for contested threes.

A lack of drives also led to a low free throw frequency. Edwards only managed to get to the line once, going 2-of-2 from the charity stripe. Prior to Wednesday night, Edwards averaged 12.9 2-point and 6.4 free-throw attempts per game over his last 11 games.

The All-NBA second-teamer has been uber-efficient getting to the rack. Edwards leads all players in field goal percentage (57.1 percent) on drives amongst players to average 13.0 or more drives per game. Using the same criteria, Edwards ranks second in points percentage.

A lack of assertiveness in getting to the rim not only hurt Edwards' statistical output but also Minnesota's offense. The Wolves favored threes over twos. The Timberwolves shot a playoff-high 49 triples.

Edwards' co-star, Karl-Anthony Towns, shot 30.0 percent from the floor, a postseason low. The Wolves big man connected on just 6-of-20 field goals. Like his 6-foot-4 teammate, Towns settled for looks from beyond the arc.

Towns hoisted nine triples on the night—his most in a single game this postseason. The Kentucky product knocked down only two of nine attempts from deep. Towns' attempts were a bit skewed as he launched several near the end of the game, but it's imperative to feed the 28-year-old power forward in the post.

The 7-footer ranks eighth in post-up points per possession. On only 3.5 post-ups per contest, Towns averages 3.9 points per game. Within 10 feet, the Timberwolves star big man is shooting 60.5 percent from the floor.

Ant and KAT's lack of assertiveness lowers Wolves' potential

The reasoning behind Edwards' lack of assertiveness might've been his strenuous matchup on the defensive end. Although TNT's Reggie Miller may have exaggerated Edwards' late-game tiredness, defending Kyrie Irving is no easy task.

The Dallas superstar scored 30 points, including 24 in the first half. The shifty guard made a living getting to the paint. Unlike Minnesota, Dallas prioritized getting to the rim. Irving connected on 12-of-23 field goals—he went 0-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Surely Edwards wasn't flat-out exhausted. He spent the majority of his time defending Jamal Murray in the Wolves' seven-game series against the Denver Nuggets. However, the previous series going to seven games did impact Minnesota and Edwards acknowledged it.

The Wolves lacked energy. The players knew it, the coaches knew it, and worst of all, the Mavs knew it. Attacking the rim against a tired team is a tried and true strategy. Driving lanes were easy to come by without frenetic perimeter defense, sans Jaden McDaniels.

Minnesota gets only a one-day break before squaring off against Dallas once more. The postseason is in full throttle, and time to rest is absent. A big showing from Edwards and Towns will ultimately decide if the Wolves come away victorious.