Anthony Edwards has said he likes to watch a lot of film, and that doesn't just include film of the Timberwolves' recent games.
It also includes watching some of the greatest players of all time to analyze how they played the game. One player in particular has caught Edwards' eye and the rookie guard has been studying as much as he can to take for his repertoire: Dwyane Wade.
After Tuesday's 112-104 loss to the Lakers, Edwards said he remembered Kobe Bryant once saying Wade seemed to "disappear" on ball screens and evade the defense so effectively in close quarters.
Edwards has been trying to learn some of Wade's steps.
"I watch him a lot to try to mimic what he does on the ball screen," Edwards said. "So if they're jumping out, I try to split screens as much as possible. That's the only person I watch on ball screens."
Edwards hasn't been afraid to attack the basket and has said he hopes to develop a floater so defenders can't just sit at the rim when he drives.
He said he doesn't like settling for short jumpers when he starts taking it to the basket, a quality he also observed in Wade. Tom Crean coached both of them in college — Wade at Marquette, Edwards at Georgia.
"[Wade is] dynamic, getting downhill, not settling," Edwards said. "He's just one of the greatest shooting guards to ever play the game, and I feel like if I can mimic him, I can become the same."
Wade happened to be doing analysis on TNT on Tuesday night and spoke about what he has seen in Edwards' game. Wade said he met Edwards with Crean a few years ago and got to watch film with him. There was a lot to like about Edwards, he said.
"Watching him get better in college and now in the pros, it's so great," Wade said on the broadcast. "I definitely think he can be a better player than I was. He has all the tools. You set a bar and you set the bar so people can jump over that bar. I think he has the talent to be able to jump over the bar I set. I hope he does it and becomes a way better player than I was."
Lamenting loss of D-Lo
It was just over a year ago that center Karl-Anthony Towns and point guard D'Angelo Russell, two good friends, spoke glowingly about the opportunity to play together.
But Russell and Towns, for several reasons, have shared the court for only five games. The latest reason is that Russell needs arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss four to six weeks.
Towns spoke for a lot of Wolves fans in venting his frustration over not playing with Russell.
"Obviously we want to play with each other," Towns said. "We expressed to each other how much playing with each other means to us and the cards haven't been dealt well for us. I finally come back and now he's out, so he was emotional, too, because it's been bothering him, wanting to play together."
One of the main questions moving forward is how Wolves President Gersson Rosas will build a team around Towns and Russell. It's hard to evaluate what else the team needs if Towns and Russell aren't playing together, and it creates some uncertainty in the immediate future of the franchise. It's a reality Towns acknowledged after Tuesday's loss to the Lakers.
"Five games, that's not enough," Towns said. "That's not enough of a sample for us. We want to play every game possible with each other. It's just unfair we keep having setbacks. Every single time when it's about to be the time to play with each other, we always have a setback somewhere."
Defense = playing time
Tucked away in the release announcing Russell's surgery was the news that guard Jarrett Culver (left ankle) could resume on-court activities and could be back late next week.
Wolves coach Ryan Saunders said defense would be the way for Culver to earn his place back in the rotation.
"There's opportunity in a number of areas, especially when it comes to the defensive end," Saunders said. "And I thought that was something Jarrett was doing a nice job with before he got hurt."