Northwest Notes: Edwards, Malone, Simpson, Zanik

Anthony Edwards has been so dominant in the first two rounds of the playoffs that it’s easy to forget he’s only 22 years old. However, his age and playoff inexperience could catch up with him in the Western Conference finals, writes Chris Hine of the Star Tribune. THE Timber wolves The guard has shot just 11 of 33 from the field so far against the Mavericks, who disrupted him by mixing up coverages and using multiple defenders.

“It’s not more difficult to get (to the basket). They simply package the paint once they get there,” Edwards said. “So, I mean, you have to make the right play because there are three, four people in the paint. You have to watch the game, so it’s just about making the right play, and my teammates are open.

History shows that players in their early 20s don’t have much success in the playoffs. Hine points out that Edwards faces Kyrie Irvingwho is ten years older and has a championship ring, and Luka Doncic, who is in his sixth NBA season and reached the conference finals two years ago. It’s difficult for Edwards to make up for this difference in experience, but he needs to find something quickly before the series slips away.

“With Anthony, he has to resume his decision-making,” coach Chris Finch said. “I think Kyrie is actually a good example: he plays fast after the catch, he tries to overcome our defensive pressure with everything on the catch, going fast.”

There are more from the Northwest Division:

  • Nuggets coach Michael Malone admits he probably abused his starters, leading to their exhaustion late in Game 7 against Minnesota, according to Bennett Durando of the Denver Post. Durando notes that Denver’s starting five spent a combined 958 minutes on the court during the regular season, more than any other group over the past six years. “On the one hand, we have the two seeds” Malone said. “And on the other hand, I watch our players play Game 7 in the second half, and our guys looked very tired. I think you’ve probably seen the same thing. So, did I put our players on the ground? I’m sure that’s definitely part of it.
  • from Colorado KJ Simpson had pre-draft training with the Nuggets this week, Tyler King of the Denver Gazette tweets. The junior point guard ranks 51st on the ESPN big board. Denver holds the 28th and 56th picks in this year’s draft.
  • Jazz general manager Justin Zanik returned to work this week after recovering from a kidney transplant, according to Alex Vejar of the Salt Lake Tribune. A team spokesperson said Zanik was targeting a return shortly after the draft.

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