If Anthony Edwards didn't have to be at shootaround at 10 a.m. Wednesday, he might have still been asleep.
"I've never been a guy that likes to wake up early on game day," the Timberwolves rookie guard said the morning of his first regular-season NBA game.
Edwards said with his usual sly smile that he would have to get used to this time shift of waking up much earlier on game days than he would prefer.
"It's kind of hard because normally I would sleep in until about 9:30, 10," Edwards said. "Then probably go get some shots up. Then we'll have shootaround and … take a nap and be ready to go. But it's not happening. We wake up at like 7:30."
Edwards definitely wasn't feeling nervous before his first game that counts. To him, the pressure was off because his first preseason game was technically his first game.
Edwards started the preseason slowly, but before the Wolves played their third game against Dallas, he said he was confident he would play well. He then went out and scored 17 points.
"I had a pretty good Dallas game, you would think, right?" Edwards said. "So yeah, I feel like after that Dallas game we scrimmaged a couple days and I still was in my rhythm and still getting more and more comfortable. So I feel like I'm at a good place right now with my rhythm."
Edwards mentioned last week one of his biggest points of emphasis was learning how to defend screens and dealing with the size of NBA players, and after the preseason he said he is learning to adjust to the pace of NBA play.
"This game is just slowing down day by day for me," Edwards said.
Edwards has been working a lot of with associate head coach David Vanterpool, who formed strong bonds with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum in Portland. Edwards revealed one of the ways he and Vanterpool are getting to know each other.
"We watch the same TV shows so we have great jokes with each other," Edwards said. "It's more than just basketball."
What are they watching? A lot of classics.
"'Sanford and Son,' 'Martin,' 'The Jeffersons,' 'Good Times'. All type of shows," Edwards said.
Russell late in getting test
One of the Wolves' anticipated starters, D'Angelo Russell, didn't start because he was late in getting a COVID test, and it kept him from participating in the beginning of the shootaround. Russell was able to join shootaround after his results came back, but the Wolves sat him to start the game in order to show the team how seriously they are taking COVID protocols, a team spokesperson said. Ricky Rubio started in his place.
Given that the Wolves are trying to find their footing after a compressed offseason, coach Ryan Saunders said he would try to be patient when it came to changing lineups and rotations early in the season.
"We try to strike a balance as a group with that and commit to our process and commit to the work that we put into it before just aborting or pulling a trigger on something, just because it didn't work for a minute," Saunders said.
Rosas wary of slow start
Wolves President Gersson Rosas said he wouldn't be surprised if the team has some downturns throughout the season, saying it was apparent there are still some needs on the roster.
"I do feel like this group, this team has an upside even this season, but we've got to go through some growing pains and we've got to grow together," Rosas said.
Despite the wholesale makeover Rosas has implemented, he is "continually assessing" what the next move will have to be.
"I don't think you can pinpoint one day or one game where you can say, 'Hey, this is what this group is.' Our goal and our focus is evaluate daily," Rosas said. "We want guys taking steps forward, but as much as we evaluate today we also have to keep the long term in perspective."