“5 Questions” is back for the 2020-21 season, and I tell you what...I’m incredibly excited about this. The league is in such a great spot right now where you could find intriguing playres and developments across all 30 teams.
And let’s start with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Their offense has some pop, led by Anthony Edwards — who’s looking like a star — and Karl-Anthony Towns, as well as the insertion of Chris Finch as head coach.
For this edition of “5 Questions,” I catch up with Brendan Hedtke of Canis Hoopus to prepare us for tonight’s matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves.
1) It really seems like Anthony Edwards is taking a leap this year. Is he on the verge on being the 1st superstar in Minnesota since KG?
I wouldn’t necessarily say Anthony Edwards is on the verge of being a superstar, but I suppose it depends on your definition of “superstar”. I think he’s on the verge of being an All-Star and will likely by the end of the season, if not sooner, be the clear cut second best player on the Wolves roster. If he does end up in the superstar realm, watch out.
2) I’ve seen where people are talking about D’Angelo Russell struggling. Is that the case - and if so, what’s going on?
Russell has been struggling. He just hasn’t been able to hit shots yet. I think he will come around to the player we know he can be. He has missed the last couple games due to injury, but I think he will come back soon and hit his stride.
3) Ant and KAT get the shine for sure, but who are some other young Wolves worth putting stock in?
The Wolves have a number of players that really fly under the radar. Naz Reid is a fascinating player that seemingly no one knows about. He is a quality backup center who is agile, can knock down open shots, and is one of the better roll men in the league. Malik Beasley is also an elite shooter who is finally hitting his stride after a slow start to the year. Of course Jaden McDaniels has shined defensively so far in his career, but he’s been struggling to find his offensive flow.
4) Alright same question here but for the Grizzlies. Aside from Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., who are some other young Wolves worth putting stock in?
The Grizzlies young pieces are interesting. I think Desmond Bane has been a great player so far in his career and is someone that could help every NBA team. Brandon Clarke has had a weird trajectory, but he is a player that I’ve always been a fan of. Hopefully he turns it around and can return to form. I know Dillon Brooks has been injured, but I like what he has shown the last two seasons, especially defensively last year. Plus, he just loves to torch the Wolves. I think De’Anthony Melton deserves a quick shoutout also. He seems like a steady player that could help a lot of teams as well.
5) Describe Chris Finch’s style thus far. It seems like the Wolves are really making strides since he took over.
Chris Finch showed last season that he was one of the better offensive minds in the league. So far this season, the Wolves have struggled on offense, but most of it doesn’t fall on Finch’s shoulders. He has fantastic set plays to get shooters (like Malik Beasley) open looks. Generally, it seems that he likes to let his offense free flow and allow his stars to make decisions, but the best thing about his approach is that he doesn’t put players into positions to fail. He isn’t going to try to make a player who isn’t a shooter play like one. He plays to his players’ strengths and tries to limit their weaknesses. The offense will turn around once players start hitting shots and it will make Finch look a whole lot better.