Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards was in a jovial and candid mood before practice on Wednesday.
Edwards has played in two preseason games in his nascent career, and that's two games for Edwards to process what it will take to compete daily at an NBA level. He has learned a few things in that time, and he didn't hold back when discussing those points.
For instance, Edwards didn't shy away from how difficult it has been to play defense while facing picks in the NBA.
"Man, it's hard to guard screens in the NBA," Edwards said. "Them dudes big."
But lest you think he's lacking confidence, Edwards continued: "Once I watch enough film on that, it'll become easy for me because I'm pretty big also."
The Wolves have been letting Edwards learn on the job in his two preseason games. His 26.1 minutes per game is the most playing time of anyone on the roster and Edwards has put in 8.5 points per game on 26% shooting, a number he is confident will rise quickly.
Most rookies will comment that they need time getting used to the speed and size of the NBA game, and Edwards indicated that on the defensive end. But mostly, he said his biggest adjustment is simply playing competitive basketball again.
"I just feel like I haven't played in like 10 months," Edwards said. "We've only been playing for four or five days. It's hard to get the rust off in four or five games."
Coach Ryan Saunders said he noticed progress in Edwards from his first game to his second.
"I like some of the plays that he made on the defensive end," Saunders said after Monday's loss to Memphis. "A lot of things we have to clean up. But offensively I thought he was more aggressive. I thought his shot profile was better. So to me that was growth in his game."
Edwards confessed that shooting the ball felt "different."
"I feel like I haven't played basketball in a long, long time," Edwards said. "Anybody can shoot when there's nobody out there. Playing five-on-five, you gotta get back used to that. I feel like it takes more than two games. … By the time Dec. 23 when we play Detroit, I feel like everything will be back in rhythm.
"I feel like you guys will see what y'all have."
Edwards said there will be some adjustments he'll enact ahead of Thursday's game at Dallas. Chief among them is attacking after getting a defensive rebound.
"That's more of my game also, getting down and having one defender in front of me and attacking him," Edwards said. "Because I'm big and I'm strong and I feel like that's more of my game and that's one of my strengths. I feel like that's what I've been lacking a lot in the last two games."
He also elaborated on what it was like playing with Ricky Rubio vs. playing with D'Angelo Russell. When Russell and Towns are on the floor, Edwards said, "you've just got to be able to pick your spots" since they are the main scorers. With Rubio, he can be more of a free-flowing scorer.
"You've got to be able to see who is in the game and know what's needed from you when you're on the court," Edwards said.
Also tucked into his comments on Wednesday was a nugget that showed Edwards knows how to get into the heart of an NBA coach and into the lineup rotation permanently.
"I feel like if you can play defense and play hard you can get a lot of minutes here," Edwards said.
Now to figure out how to defend those screens.
• The Wolves announced that guard D'Angelo Russell will miss Thursday's preseason finale because of a sore right ankle.