June 25, 2024

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Anthony Edwards confident ahead of Game 7 – ‘We’re a great team’

Anthony Edwards confident ahead of Game 7 – ‘We’re a great team’

DENVER — Anthony Edwards and Naz Reid competed in a shooting contest after practice on Saturday, a day before the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Game 7 against the Denver Nuggets to determine the winner of their Western Conference semifinal series against the defending NBA champions.

The Wolves’ emerging star and the league’s Sixth Man of the Year started in one corner and challenged each other to hit five three-pointers from seven points around the perimeter, to see who would be first to finish from the opposite corner. In a shoot-to-miss format, Edwards quickly caught fire and advanced to the final corner point while Reid was stuck in the No. 3, screaming wide down the wing.

To allow Reid a chance to catch up, Edwards began firing high-curving shots, launching the ball almost to the ceiling of the Nuggets’ practice court. When Reid finally got into his rhythm and worked his way around the three-point line, just two points from the end corner, Edwards stopped messing around — he went back to his usual shot and calmly finished the contest.

In a way, it mirrors what the Wolves are trying to do in Denver with this series. Minnesota led 2-0 to start, lost three straight to fall to 3-2, then blanked the Nuggets by 45 points in Game 6 on Thursday to clinch the win on Sunday.

See also  Chelsea - Arsenal: English Premier League - live! | Premier League

Edwards looks at the Nuggets with the same self-confidence he had on Saturday when he smiled at Reid before taking the final corner 3 to win the shootout.

“I think we’re confident we’re a great team,” Edwards said. “We’re going to play another great team and we feel like we’re the better team. That’s the confidence we need. The last two games [that the Wolves won in Denver] It doesn’t mean anything. They beat us at home, and it doesn’t mean anything. Now it’s about who will play better tomorrow.”

The Wolves played their best game in Game 6, holding the Nuggets to a playoff-low 70 points on just 30.2% shooting (19.4% from 3). Edwards was the game’s leading scorer with 27 points, but he wasn’t the only contributor for Minnesota.

Jaden McDaniels scored 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting, and Mike Conley had 13 points and 5 assists as he returns from a right Achilles injury that caused him to miss Game 5. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 10 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists. While playing effective defense against three-time MVP Nikola Jokic. Rudy Gobert (8 points, 14 rebounds) and Reed (10 points, 11 rebounds off the bench) both made their mark as well.

Conley, 36, is in his 17th season and is 0-4 in the seventh game of his career. The last loss was to the same Nuggets when Conley was with the Utah Jazz in the first round of the 2020 playoffs in the NBA bubble. Trailing 80-78 as time ticked down in the fourth quarter, Conley received a passed pass near center court and attempted a pull-up 3 from the left wing as time expired.

See also  Astros pursuing Blake Snell: Sources

It took off and the Nuggets took the lead.

“I echoed that a lot [in my mind]”To have that opportunity to win a Game 7 like that and not be able to make a shot was tough,” Conley said Saturday. Now here we are in a similar situation, where we will be playing with the same team, and many of the same players. So for me, this is just something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.”

Now on his third team with more than a full season of postseason appearances under his belt — Sunday will mark his 88th — Conley knows he may not have many bites at the apple.

“He mentioned before the playoffs that this might be one of his best and last chances to get a chance like this and win a ring or go deep into the playoffs,” Towns said of Conley. “We all have great respect for him. We want to be the best we can be, especially tomorrow, and continue this journey to get a possible ring. I think we can all agree that we would do anything for Mike Conley.”

The 22-year-old Edwards has never played in a Game 7 before. The Western Semifinals are just the fourth playoff series of his four-year career.

While he also had praise for the Wolves’ veteran point guard as the playoffs progressed — going so far as to say Conley’s presence was the difference in Minnesota winning Game 6 after losing Game 5 without him — Edwards has his own motivation for Sunday.

Just as he wanted to eliminate Reed in the shooting competition after practice, he wants to defeat Denver.

See also  Djokovic says he will not attend the US Championships over his vaccination status.

“I want to win it for myself,” Edwards said matter-of-factly when asked if he wanted to win Game 7 for Conley. “I wasn’t with Mike when he was in Game 7, so I had nothing to do with it.

“Yes, I want to win it for myself.”