June 22, 2024

Anthony Edwards says Wolves will ‘be back’ after playoff exit

MINNEAPOLIS — The Dallas Mavericks may need put an abrupt cease to the very best Minnesota Timberwolves‘ postseason run in many years on Thursday, dominating Game 5 to clinch the Western Conference crown and a berth within the NBA Finals, however it did not dampen Anthony Edwards’ outlook on the longer term one bit.

“We’ll be back next year,” Edwards stated after totaling 28 factors on 10-for-18 taking pictures, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in a 124-103 closeout loss.

Edwards, a former No. 1 choose, capped off his fourth season within the league with a second-team All-NBA nod and three 40-point playoff video games because the Wolves reached the Western Conference finals for the primary time since Kevin Garnett led them there in 2004.

All on the ripe, outdated age of twenty-two.

After sweeping the Phoenix Suns within the first spherical and getting back from 20 factors down within the second half of Game 7 of the convention semifinals to topple the defending champion Denver Nuggets, the Mavs proved an excessive amount of for Minnesota.

“It’s a lot of our guys’ first time being in this light, especially me. It’s my first time,” Edwards stated. “But we’ll be ready, man. We’ll be all right. First time. Took a loss. Congratulations to the Mavericks. But we’ll be back. We’ll be all right.”

The No. 3-seeded Wolves had house courtroom benefit over the No. 5-seeded Mavs however fell down 3-0 to begin the collection, together with blowing an 18-point lead on the Target Center in Game 2 when the eventual unanimous collection MVP, Luka Doncic, hit a go-ahead 3 within the closing seconds.

Minnesota’s vaunted protection, that includes four-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, appeared weak at occasions in opposition to the two-pronged assault of Doncic and Kyrie Irving. And the Wolves’ offense was even much less dependable, with Karl-Anthony Towns struggling via the primary three losses earlier than rallying to common 26.5 factors on 54.5% taking pictures and eight.5 rebounds in Games 4 and 5.

Towns did not choose up any fouls in Game 5 after fouling out of Game 4 — the fourth time throughout Minnesota’s playoff run he was whistled for 5 fouls or extra — however the effort went for naught, as Dallas led by 29 on the half and as many as 36 at one level.

For Towns, the Wolves’ No. 1 choose in 2015 and longest-tenured participant on the roster, the group’s playoff efficiency solely strengthened his resolve to be part of the group that delivers Minnesota its first NBA championship some day.

“I’ve been here nine years and I would love for the tenure to keep going,” Towns stated.

The 28-year-old massive man, who has 4 years remaining on his contract with the Wolves (together with a participant possibility for the 2027-28 season), was requested to broaden on his remarks.

“I’m confident I’ll be able to be here with my brothers and continue what I love to do here at home,” Towns stated. “So that’s the plan. Nothing’s changed on my side. I love this city. I love this organization. I love this city. It’s given me my life, me and my family.”

Towns was requested if the Wolves as at the moment constructed — with one key rotation participant in Kyle Anderson turning into an unrestricted free agent this summer time — have proven sufficient to persuade the franchise’s potential new house owners to maintain the group collectively. (Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore are at the moment in a authorized battle with Glen Taylor over possession of the group.)

“That’s not for me to worry about,” Towns stated. “My job is to go out there every day and do something this summer in the offseason and continue to take steps forward in my game and my mentality not only as a player but as a person, too.”

Towns added: “Excited to see next season when I walk in for training camp for our first interviews and stuff to not only see the growth for me as a player that I’ll get to showcase throughout the season, but the growth of me as a man. I can’t speak on [new ownership]. I can’t control that.”

Wolves coach Chris Finch stated his largest takeaway from how his group stalled out within the convention finals was the collective consciousness and dedication it will take to proceed to stage up because the postseason progresses sooner or later.

Finch, 54, who coached within the G League after which was an NBA assistant for years earlier than getting his shot as the pinnacle coach of the Wolves in the midst of Edwards’ rookie season, acknowledged that possibilities like Minnesota had this spring may be fleeting.

Then once more, even he needed to share a few of Edwards’ unbridled optimism about what’s in retailer for his group.

“We’re very disappointed. When I look back all summer long, there’s going to be a lot of regrets about the early parts of this series,” Finch stated. “But it’s been a great year. I’m very proud of the guys. The way the city has gotten behind the team, it’s been special. We’ve always said from the time we got here we want to put out a team that people are proud to root for and play the right way. We feel like we do that.

“Now we have simply bought to maintain high quality tuning all the pieces.”