Oh, how the tables turn. In the second round of the playoffs, the Minnesota Timberwolves ambushed the Denver Nuggets by winning their first two games on the road. While the Nuggets eventually came back from that deficit, the Wolves did enough to come back in Games 6 and 7. Now, the script has been flipped. The Dallas Mavericks have won two straight games in Minnesota and head into Dallas with a 2-0 series lead.

Timberwolves fans have to be freaking out a bit. It's their first trip to the Conference Finals in a while, and they've now encountered the worst possible situation after Game 2: going on the road for two games while being down 0-2. Still, there's not a hint of doubt in Ant's statements that they will be able to pull it off, based on his post-game statements. (via ClutchPoints)

“I don’t think anybody in the locker room is panicking,” Edwards said. “I hope not. Just come out and play our brand of basketball. We let ‘em make a run.”

Edwards also talked a bit about the Mavericks' defensive scheme that seems to have stumped the Timberwolves star. Ant acknowledged that this was a unique style, but he seems to be confident that he will eventually find his groove.

“They’re just showing me crowds, man, sitting in the gaps,” Edwards said. “But I’m turning down a lot of shots, like my midranges and stuff. I’m turning a lot of those down. But we’re getting open looks, so I ain’t trippin’.”

After breaking out in the last series against Denver, Edwards has significantly slowed down against the Mavericks. Dallas has focused their attention on swarming Edwards and forcing him to give up the rock, and it's worked wonders. It's been a rough series for the Timberwolves star: shooting awfully from the field and making costly turnovers. In fact, his late turnover in Game 2 directly led to Luka Doncic's eventual game-winner.

Timberwolves' WCF struggles

Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) shoots against Dallas Mavericks forward Derrick Jones Jr. (55) in the fourth quarter during game two of the western conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

It's not just Ant that's struggling in this series. The reason why the Timberwolves have been a shell of themselves this series is that aside from Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns is continuing to struggle from the field. KAT shone in their series against the Nuggets, as he was able to contain the burly Nikola Jokic. Against the springy forwards and centers of the Mavericks, though, KAT has struggled. That, coupled with his poor shooting, has been a major problem.

In the closing moments of the game, the Timberwolves went with the white-hot Naz Reid over KAT. The All-Star forward didn't seem to have a problem with that move.

“I’m with winning, so whatever it takes to win,” Towns said. “Naz has it going. Coach’s decision, I’m fully supportive of my coaching staff. Wouldn’t question them one bit. Of course, I’m always going to be ready to play whenever he calls. Naz got it going, our team was playing well.”

Still, for the Timberwolves to pull themselves out of this hole, they will need both Edwards and Towns to get their mojos back. The Mavericks are executing a gameplan that takes away the Timberwolves' best options, but that isn't with its faults. Either the ‘Wolves stars get into a shootout with Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic… or they hunker down on defense and figure out a way to stop the star duo.