The Minnesota Timberwolves played host to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night. While Victor Wembanyama has blossomed into one of the league’s brightest young stars, the Wolves didn’t allow people to forget just how good they’ve been all season.

After jumping out to an early lead, Minnesota pulled ahead in convincing fashion. Stellar defense and rebounding from Rudy Gobert to go with timely shotmaking and athletic dominance from Anthony Edwards propelled the Wolves to a 20-point lead. With the game decided, the Timberwolves stepped off the gas a bit, but still managed a convincing 114-105 victory.

Following the final buzzer, Victor Wembanyama shared some special praise for Anthony Edwards and his fellow Frenchman, Rudy Gobert.

Victor Wembanyama highlights Rudy Gobert’s presence

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) and San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) talk after the game at Target Center.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame, ClutchPoints asked the Spurs’ young star what aspects of Gobert's game he would like to emulate. Given his familiarity and relationship with the Stifle Tower, Wembanyama referenced some of the Wolves’ anchor’s biggest strengths.

“The way his presence is being felt on the court. He’s really the center part of the defense. Not only individually he’s a good player, but he fits. I really think he’s found his place here,” he said.

Behind the Timberwolves’ defensive dominance this season has been exactly what Wemby referenced: Gobert’s presence.

Gobert is back to his old ways in 2023-24 after a disappointing debut campaign in Minnesota. Blocking over two shots a game again this season, the Wolves’ center has a legitimate pathway to winning a fourth Defensive Player of the Year award. Despite his gaudy shot-blocking numbers, the Wolves’ anchor does more defensively than just block shots, a common misconception from Gobert’s critics on social media. Stifling rim deterrence coupled with ramped-up defensive activity in the pick-and-roll game make Gobert an all-around dominant defensive force. His ability to challenge shots on all three levels and stymie drives to the rim is one of one in the NBA.

“He might be the best defensive player in the world,” Wembanyama said of Gobert.

The Spurs’ franchise cornerstone didn’t lose sight of contributions from other Timberwolves in the process of building an elite defense.

“If you’re by yourself, it doesn’t work,” Wembanyama said. “But here, he’s not by himself. He’s got everything to make this work.”

Unlike Gobert’s tenure with the Utah Jazz, Minnesota has surrounded the all-world defender with a series of other high-end defensive pieces. Rather than trying to overcome poor point-of-attack defense, Minnesota allows Gobert the ability to be the biggest cog in a well-oiled defensive machine. With elite on-ball stoppers like Jaden McDaniels and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, it’s no surprise to see the Wolves sport the No. 1 defense in the NBA.

Ant impresses Wemby

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) drives to the basket against San Antonio Spurs forward Victor Wembanyama (1) during the second half at Frost Bank Center.
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

After Anthony Edwards poured in 34 points on Tuesday night, Wembanyama showed his respect for another budding superstar.

“I love the way he, he seems active in his progression. You know, it doesn’t feel like he’s doing anything random. He’s purposeful on the court.”

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Wembanyama’s words couldn’t ring any truer for Edwards and his progression this season. The two-time All-Star came into the league with all of the physical tools and natural scoring touch that would allow him to blossom into the face of the franchise. Along the way, though, Edwards has added subtle yet invaluable nuances to his game.

The Wolves’ guard has taken steps forward as a playmaker every season he's been in the league. Now averaging over five assists per game, Ant is coupling his scoring ability with the willingness to dish out dimes to others. His patience with the ball in his hands has improved, even from the start of this season. Rather than forcing a shot, or committing too soon to a drive, Edwards has found ways to navigate defenses.

Wembanyama concluded his thoughts on Edwards quite simply.

“He’s just someone I believe will be really good.”

With Wemby and Ant potentially becoming the faces of the league in the not-so-distant future, seeing the respect level between these two is awesome for the sport—and two small-market franchises who have true rising stars.