Will Suns' brazen strategy stop the Wolves' best player?

Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game One
Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game One / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Following a blowout win in the regular season finale against the Timberwolves, Suns guard Bradley Beal was asked about the Suns’ game plan to stop All-Star guard Anthony Edwards ahead of round one of the playoffs. 

"I always say; foul his a**; Foul him. Be aggressive with him, man. Make him see a lot of bodies."

Bradley Beal

The Phoenix guard has seemingly ripped a page right out of “The Jordan Rules” book, which was famously deployed by the 1980s Pistons dynasty. 

Former Pistons assistant coach Brendan Malone explained the Jordan Rules as a physical style of basketball to challenge Jordan before he got to the rim. When Malone was asked what would happen if Jordan did get to the rim he said, 

"That’s when Laimbeer and Mahorn would go up and knock him to the ground."

Brendan Malone

Edwards is not new to the Jordan comparisons. Hall of Famers like Kevin Garnett and T.V. personalities/reporters like Stephen A. Smith have both said that the fourth-year superstar is the closest thing to "MJ" since "MJ" himself.

Many have thought that these comparisons were unfair, and outrageous for Edwards. But now a team with one future Hall-of-Famer and two other all-stars are implementing the same physical rules for Edwards. 

Edwards this season has averaged 6.4 free throw attempts per game but against the Suns, that number drops to just 5.0 per game. 

It is going to be up to Edwards to see this quote by Beal and be prepared for a physical series in this first round. It will also be on the refs to respect Ant’s famous “AYE” whenever he gets to the hole and gets hacked. 

If Edwards and the Wolves can get past the Suns, it will be remembered as Ant’s first legacy moment and will further validate the MJ comparisons as he will be outpacing the arguable GOAT in beating his own set of rules which took Jordan six years to maneuver.