- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The saying goes in the NBA that the star players often get the benefit of the whistle and earn foul calls perhaps easier than a rookie or a role player off the bench.
Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards would certainly agree with that statement.
The No. 1 overall pick recently went through a two-game slump, in which he totaled just two points on 1-of-14 shooting from the field. He broke out of that slump a bit on Monday, recording 12 points and five rebounds on 5-of-16 shooting from the field in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Players often will get involved in other aspects of the game to contribute, and some even try to force the issue to draw contact and get to the free-throw line. That method may work with some players, but apparently not with Edwards.
As he explained, he has tried that approach but has been unsuccessful.
“I feel like every time I go to the rim, I get fouled so, therefore, I could get it going through the free-throw line but I don’t get any foul calls,” Edwards said on Monday. “As far as knocking down jump shots, it’s going to come. I never really press about stuff like that.”
The 19-year-old through 12 games is averaging 12.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 25.2 minutes. Edwards leads all rookies in scoring average but ranks 11th in free-throw attempts with 1.8 per game. In fact, only 10.7% of his points have come from the line, which is 19th among rookies averaging at least 10 minutes per game.
Prior to Monday, Edwards had 74 drives to the basket on the season, which was sixth among rookies. In those situations, Edwards was tied for the most free-throw attempts with 12, according to Second Spectrum.
Despite the apparent disparity in attempts in his mind, Edwards doesn’t say much to the referees about it.
“I don’t really do too much complaining to the refs,” Edwards said. “I just be surprised that they don’t call it, but the stuff that they do call be crazy so I just live with it and keep playing.”
Regardless if Edwards gets the benefit of the whistle or not, the rookie has proven to be a dynamic scorer at times this season. His blend of strength and athleticism has been difficult to guard in stretches and that should only improve the more he plays with the Timberwolves.
Ryan Saunders: Anthony Edwards capable of handling more responsibilities
Timberwolves' Ryan Saunders loved the poise Anthony Edwards showed in debut
Karl-Anthony Towns on Anthony Edwards: 'He is hungry to be great'