Anthony Who?

Note: This article was written after the Minnesota Timberwolves game on 5/10/2024

In my article back on the April 2oth I said that one of the teams I am root for this year in the playoffs would be the the Minnesota Timberwolves. While most readers probably understand that I chose the Timberwolves as one of my three teams because of Anthony Edwards there is actually another reason which is a bit closer to home that they are, and always will be, on my list of favorite teams from now on. That reason is my soon to be 11 year old nephew. He is a Timberwolves fan.

Today’s article I will be using regular season stats, playoff stats, and accomplishment awards to compare Anthony Edwards to Michael Jordan because over the last two years I’ve heard and read many comparisons by reporters of the two men.

Before I get into the comparison thought it is important to note: The trend since shortly before Edwards was drafted has been that games are being more pointless than they ever were because players are being asked to be more versatile. The amount of versatility players have contributes to the number of meaningful games that are played. Take for example the In-Season Tournament back in November. Those games were more meaningful than early season games had been in a few years. I think players like LeBron James are responsible for for this trend of meaningless games during the regular season and the need for the In-Season Tournament.

At the end of the day, sports are a young mans game and always were. Edwards was 19 years old when he was drafted, Jordan was 21. Being two years younger when he was drafted gives Edwards an edge over Jordan to work his way up the ranks and become the face of this era of players. The biggest question is: Will he actually be able to accomplish that level of recognition?

Until approximately 2014 regular season games had a lot more meaning because a players position such as Shooting Guard or Small Forward mattered significantly more to the game on the court than it does today. That said, since both Jordan and Edwards are listed as Shooting Guards after comparing their stats over the first four years of their career (stats are at the bottom of this article) it is important to realize how much the game has changed. Thanks to how much the game has changed it might actually be easy for Edwards to become the fast of this era of players and stay in the G.O.A.T. conversation for many reasons.

Probably the biggest of these reasons is he has helped the Timberwolves make the playoffs three out of the last four years also marking the first time in 20 seasons they have made it to the Conference Semi-finals. They are playing the defending champion Denver Nuggets and up 2-1 going into Sundays game. This bodes well for them since they will be at Target Center in front of their home crowd. Should the Timberwolves advance it would also mark the first time in 20 years they made it to the Conference Finals.

Another big reason is he is still three seasons from being in his prime and short of any serious injuries he could potentially hit true stardom before he is in his prime if the Timberwolves keep making the playoffs every year.

Here’s the thing folks: Watching Edwards play the last few years has brought back memories for me of the ’90s when Jordan played. Their style of play is the same but after four years in the NBA Jordan had ten more points per game on average than Edwards does. However, thanks to being a couple years younger than Jordan was when he started his fifth season Edwards is well on his way to staying in the G.O.A.T. conversation.

With that… the rest of this years Western Conference Semi-Finals is going to be quite fun to watch!

If you cannot play with them, then root for them.

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Michael Jordan – 1984-1988 

Regular Season Stats (courtesy Basketball Reference)
1984-1988: 264 games, 32.7 points per game

Awards: Rookie Of The Year Award, 4 All-Star Appearances, 3 All-NBA Team Awards, 1 All-Defensive Team Award, 3 MVP Awards, 2 Defensive Player Of The Year Award.

Playoff Stats (courtesy StatMuse)

1984-85: 4 games, 29.3 points per game
1985-86: 3 games, 43.7 points per game
1986-87: 3 games, 35.7 points per game
1987-88: 10 games, 36.3 points per game

Anthony Edwards – 2020-2024 

Regular Season Stats (courtesy Basketball Reference)
2020-24: 302 games, 22.9 points per game

Awards: Rookie Of The Year Award, 2 All-Star Appearances, 1 MVP Award, 1 Clutch Player Of The Year Award.

Playoff Stats (courtesy StatMuse)

2021-22: 6 games, 25.2 points per game
2022-23: 5 games, 31.6 points per game
2023-24: 7 games, 30.4 points per game (See StatMuse updated stats which include games after 5/11/2024)

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