Anthony Edwards was staring at the stat sheet in front of him following Minnesota's 124-96 loss in Game 2 to Memphis on Tuesday when a reporter asked him what he was looking at.
"My turnovers," Edwards said. "I had five turnovers. That won't happen again. Just that simple, I had five turnovers. Just losing that damn ball, dribbling it. That won't happen again."
Game 1 of the series, which the Timberwolves won, showed what Edwards can do when he is on, even at 20 years old. He was electrifying in scoring 36 points. On Tuesday, he scored his age and didn't start hitting shots until the game was out of hand. He was 1-for-5 from three-point range in the first half, 3-for-5 in the second, but the Wolves were down by more than 20 early in the third quarter.
Coach Chris Finch said Tuesday showed Edwards that every game will be different in the playoffs. Edwards said he was going to learn from it.
"I took a lot of bad shots, but they was loading up," Edwards said. "I had a lot of opportunities to get off the ball, and I didn't. I pulled it when I should've gotten off of it, but I learn from tonight, so I'm good. I'm perfectly fine with what happened tonight."
Game 3 is Thursday at Target Center.
Edwards' shot mix in the series has differed from the regular season. Through two games he has averaged three midrange shots per game. That's double his regular-season rate of 1.5. He is taking fewer shots in the restricted area around the rim (5.8 during the regular season, four in the playoffs). He also is taking more above-the-break threes (7.5 during the season, nine in the playoffs).
That's a small sample size, but it can indicate Edwards might be favoring his jumper at the expense of going to the rim with more frequency.
Some of that also may play into Memphis selling out to defend the rim. They will live with Edwards trying to hit jumpers instead of bullying them inside. He did in Game 1. Game 2 wasn't his night, or anybody's, for that matter.
Towns on his leg kick
Karl-Anthony Towns picked up his third foul in the second quarter Tuesday with a preventable bad habit he sometimes displays — kicking out his leg on a three-pointer. Looking back at the video, Towns trips Xavier Tillman as Tillman is closing out. Finch said the foul was "unnecessary at that point in time."
Towns was asked about it multiple times after the game. First he said he didn't see the replay yet and thought Tillman was complaining about getting fouled in the face.
"Was it the face? Or was it a foot? I wear size 20s. I can't make those up. I can't take those back," Towns said. "To me, for what I felt, I felt I was very locked in to the shot. Went in and out. You didn't see me react to the foul or anything. I just kind of shot the ball and thought it was a good shot, got big feet, caught it on the move. I don't know. I have to watch the film. I can't comment on something that I really don't know too much about."
Then later Towns tried to explain why the leg kick happens on his shot, and tried to say it was more a part of his natural shooting motion.
"I do know it was a pretty far three. It wasn't like a regular three. It was a step or two off," Towns said. "So, for a person who doesn't jump, I'm going to jump a little bit because I got to get it there. I don't know. I won a three-point contest shooting like that. I'm not going to change my shot because of things like that."
Wolves 'really need' Reid
When Towns is out, Naz Reid takes over for him, and through the first two games Finch has wanted to see more from Reid. Reid had 12 points and seven rebounds but had three turnovers in five minutes in Game 1. Finch wasn't thrilled with how Reid played in Game 2 despite the numbers, which also included two turnovers.
"He's got to be better," Finch said. "He just hasn't been very good in these two games. He's got to rebound for us better, makes a lot of little mistakes, little turnovers and little plays that are a little bit too deflating. He's got to be a little bit better for us right now; we really need him."