In February Anthony Edwards threw down the consensus front-runner for NBA dunk of the year.
The Timberwolves rookie certainly deserved those plaudits. Look at this, after all:
DUNK OF THE YEAR.
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) February 20, 2021
Tonight against the Blazers, Edwards may have actually topped that effort, which is pretty incredible. You be the judge:
LET'S GOOOOOO. pic.twitter.com/yKlZvlzBVz
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 15, 2021
Yeah, that’s just absurd.
For Wolves fans, though, tonight’s game featured more positives from Edwards. The dunk is clearly ridiculous, but Edwards finished the night with 34 points on 24 shots (6-14 from 3) along with four rebounds. Minnesota also, crucially, won the game, a close home victory over a West playoff contender.
For a team that is pretty clearly looking to build a foundation for next season (up to and including getting a jump on the next coaching regime with the unorthodox timing of their Chris Finch hire) they’ll certainly take any signs of improvement like this.
Of course, they don’t want too much improvement; they still owe Golden State a first-round pick. If the Wolves pick in the top-3 this summer, they’ll keep the pick; as of now, that looks like a safe scenario barring lottery luck and/or a big on-court improvement. Their ideal scenario is probably keeping that pick this year and then hitting the ground running starting next season, with Edwards, D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns, and another top draft pick forming a formidable core.
Then their 2022 unprotected pick going to the Warriors won’t be that big of a deal at all.
Obviously that’s a lot easier said than done; the Wolves have been very bad this year, and while Finch is probably a coaching upgrade, there’s still a lot to figure out on the court.
Until then, though, there are worse things for fans to dream on than Edwards knocking down step-back threes, shutting down Dame Lillard on key late possessions, and throwing down monster dunks every few weeks.