Timberwolves

Anthony Edwards Has His Sights On Bigger Things Than the All-Star Game

Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn (USA TODAY Sports)

On Thursday night, the NBA announced its 2023 All-Star reserves for each conference. Only seven players from the East and West get the honor of being selected as an All-Star reserve. By now, you probably know that Anthony Edwards was not one of those seven players.

Timberwolves fans were in an uproar about Edwards being snubbed, and for good reason. The 21-year-old is putting up career highs in multiple categories. Through all 55 games this season, Ant is averaging 25 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.7 steals on 46.3% from the floor. On top of his already impressive numbers, the third-year guard is leading his team to a 28-27 record – all without Karl-Anthony Towns, who went down two months ago.

While the fanbase may be upset about Edwards’ snub, Ant is set on bigger and better things. If he can accomplish the goals he’s set out for himself and his team, the NBA coaches who didn’t vote him into the All-Star game will look even more foolish than they do right now.

“Me personally, yeah, I feel like I’m an All-Star, but I guess a lot of people don’t, so that’s cool,” Edwards said when asked about fans not voting him into the ASG in mid-January. “I ain’t trippin’ man. I just want to get to the playoffs; I don’t really care. As long as we get to the playoffs, I don’t care how we do it as long as we get there – 8th seed, 7th seed, 6th seed, 1st seed, I don’t care how we do it. As long as we get there, that’s all I care about.”

At the time of this quote, Anthony Edwards wasn’t in the top 10 in fan voting. Lakers guard Austin Reaves was ahead of him with 259,291 total votes. Ant never cracked the top 10 in fan voting amongst Western Conference guards at any point during the voting window. However, it didn’t come as a surprise because fans usually vote for guys on bigger market teams. Furthermore, fan voting only counts toward deciding the All-Star starters. The 30 NBA head coaches select the reserves, making Ant’s snub that much worse.

Being a mid-market team, the Timberwolves (and their fans) are never surprised to be overlooked when the NBA is handing out awards. However, this occurrence is different because Edwards and the Wolves have completely turned their season around after scuffling out of the gates. As of now, Minnesota sits as the 6th seed in the Western Conference and owns a 12-5 record since the new year – the 3rd best in the NBA.

I could sit here and talk about why Ant deserved to be an All-Star this season. However, that’s not here nor there at this point. Edwards will not be heading to Utah on February 19th; his teammates and the fanbase must shift their focus completely to the postseason. How can the Wolves qualify without having to play in the play-in?

The Western Conference is wide open, with only 27 games left in the regular season. I could see the Wolves finishing anywhere from the 3rd to 11th seed. Perhaps that makes you optimistic. Maybe it makes you anxious. However, if the Wolves keep up the way they’ve played lately, we should have no reason to worry about Minnesota making the postseason.

Always playing with a chip on his shoulder, Edwards has been a man on a mission this season. However, the playoff snub may have lit a fire under him. With Minnesota’s chances at obtaining home court in the first-round playoffs, I don’t see Ant’s play slowing down in the slightest. If Edwards can lead his team to a playoff berth, the coaches (and fans) who didn’t vote him in to be a first-time All-Star will look like complete and utter fools.

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Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn (USA TODAY Sports)

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