Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards not selected as a Western Conference all-star
Edwards is currently the league’s No. 4 overall scorer (1,346 points).
ST. PAUL -- Anthony Edwards will have to wait for his first all-star selection.
The Minnesota Timberwolves guard, who made a strong case for selection with his play thus far this season, was passed over by the NBA Western Conference coaches, whose reserve choices were revealed Thursday.
Domantas Sabonis, Paul George, Lauri Markkanen, Ja Morant, Damian Lillard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jaren Jackson Jr. were selected over Edwards.
Edwards’ case was based upon durability and value to his team. He has not missed a game this season. With that and his consistent production, Edwards is currently the league’s No. 4 overall scorer (1,346 points). He’s also driven the Timberwolves’ bus, which was stuck in the mud for the first half of the season, and rerouted it onto a path of success. He is the primary reason Minnesota — which has been ravaged by injuries all season — currently sits at No. 6 in the Western Conference with a 28-26 mark.
Minnesota has been one of the league’s hottest teams over the last month.
“I just think we’re really finding our stride on both ends of the floor. Ant’s play has been a huge factor in that. He’s been, arguably, one of the best guards in the NBA over the last month,” Austin Rivers said recently. “I hope they treat him right and put him in the All-Star game. I think starting with him and it just trickles down, we’ve all been really on the same page defensively. We’ve been really good, locked in, playing hard. Even the games that we’ve lost, some of the bad ones, we haven’t been blown out all year. We’ve been in games and fought hard, and now that rhythm and that confidence has really got us in stride right now. Gotta keep it going.”
Edwards has been a top 15 player in the NBA over the last month. For the season, he’s averaging 24.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game. The third-year guard is second in the NBA in total steals (92).
“Of course, we’d love to see him on there,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said ahead of the announcement Thursday. “We all think he’s very, very deserving of the honor. There’s been a lot of guys this early in their career that have had good seasons, but his season is directly related to our winning and his consistency, his high level of performances over the last two months, in particular, have been a big key to us being able to reverse early trends and put us in a position to make a run now in the stretch.
“All that being said, it doesn’t even take into account how great of a personality he is, and how much fun it’d be to have him there.”
Yet the coaches passed over Edwards for players who’ve missed ample numbers of games, such as George and Jackson Jr. The latter was likely a product of coaches wanting to reward Memphis with a second all-star given its team’s success. Edwards — the league leader in minutes played — has amassed more than twice as many minutes on the floor as Jackson Jr. this season.
But it’s not uncommon for players like Edwards, who’s just 21 years old, to be overlooked in their first deserving season before making the team in the following season. That’s not to say that’s fair, but it is a common arc for players of his caliber.
One thing Timberwolves fans can take solace in: On his current trajectory, this is likely the last time Edwards is not named an all-star for many, many years to come.
This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.