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Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards now racking up assists instead of turnovers, and Minnesota is better for it

In the midst of another all-star season that will garner All-NBA consideration if it continues at its current rate and is a major reason the Timberwolves occupy the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, one of the only real knocks on Anthony Edwards is that, at times, his decision making can be a little sporadic.

The turnovers number can spike. The shot selection can be iffy. When either occurs, Minnesota’s offense as a whole suffers because of it.

But, when Edwards is on point, the Wolves tend to roll.

Case and point – Minnesota’s last two contests.

The Timberwolves’ public relations staff noted Monday that in the 778 occurrences in NBA regular season history when a team played consecutive road games against teams who were 15 or more games over .500, Minnesota became the first to win both contests by 20-plus points.

The Wolves downed the Bucks by 24 on Thursday and then dropped the Clippers by 21 on Monday.

Against Milwaukee, Edwards tallied eight assists and zero turnovers. Against the Clippers, the 22-year-old guard had nine dimes to counter his lone giveaway.

Those are Mike Conley-like numbers in terms of creating for others while still taking care of the ball. And when Edwards carries out that task in such an efficient manner, the Wolves’ offense booms.

Two games is admittedly a small sample size, but it is a piece of evidence that perhaps provides a glimpse into the future in terms of where Minnesota’s offense can go down the line as Edwards continues to mature and develop as a player.

One already encouraging piece of Edwards’ game is his ability to adjust. In the first half against the Clippers, Los Angeles “loaded up” against the guard, often sending two his way, particularly off of pick and rolls.

“I was dribbling, dribbling, dribbling, allowing them to get into the gaps,” Edwards told reporters.

At halftime, Timberwolves coach Chris Finch showed Edwards clips of how if the guard attacked quickly – nearly immediately after catching the ball – the Clippers would not be allowed to stack their defensive fronts to stop him.

So, in the third quarter, “I was trying to get out in transition and play off the catch more, and it helped me,” Edwards said.

He scored 12 points in the third frame, living both in the paint and at the free-throw line.

“They kept him out of pick and roll, he attacked us 1 on 1 at the point of attack,” Clippers coach Ty Lue told reporters, “and we wasn’t able to slow him down.”

Edwards did a good job picking his spots of when to attack and when to allow others to take the reins. Nothing about his performances against the Clippers or Bucks has felt forced. That’s an important approach to maintain as Minnesota moves towards the postseason, where opposing defenses are likely to put nearly all of their attention on the guard.

That’s fine with Edwards, who is showing a growing appetite for making the easy play, and watching his team prosper because of it.

“I don’t know why teams put two on me, because KAT is the best offensive player we’ve got,” Edwards said. “So, if you put two on me, KAT is going to have 50. So I’m all for it.”