Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves are currently gearing up for the first round playoff matchup vs the Phoenix Suns, who are favored in the series despite being the lower seed. The Timberwolves enter the postseason as the third seed in the vaunted Western Conference playoff picture, but their relative lack of experience as compared to the Suns' “big three” trio of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal has made some fans skeptical as to just how much of their regular season success will carry over to the series, despite the continued excellence that Edwards has displayed.

One key member of the Timberwolves' rotation who only recently returned to the startling lineup is none other than former 2015 number one overall NBA Draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns, who was able to play two regular season games after returning from an injury that kept him out for over a month.

Edwards for one believes that Towns will play a big role in the Timberwolves' potential success vs the Suns.

“I see KAT being the MVP of the series if we win it because they're going to put two and three [defenders] on me‚” Edwards said, per Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. “He's the best player on the team. You put two and three on me and you leave the best player 1-on-1, that's something we live for. He takes the responsibility on defense and if he does a great job, we'll come out on top.”

Meanwhile, Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch echoed a similar sentiment.

“It's going to be huge,” Finch said of Towns' role in the series. “I think we have to find ways to get more out of him. I've got to do a better getting the ball in his hands. I didn't do a good job of that on Sunday. He's a huge piece for us and we've got to use him better.”

A fascinating matchup

Stylistically, the Timberwolves and the Suns really couldn't be any more different. The Suns' strength relies almost entirely on their three-headed snake of Durant, Booker, and Beal, three of the league's premiere perimeter scoring options and a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses on a nightly basis.

Meanwhile, a perceived lack of perimeter scoring punch around Edwards has been blamed as the key reason that the Timberwolves aren't necessarily being taken seriously as legitimate contenders despite their excellent regular season, which saw them finish just a game out of first place in the conference. However, the Timberwolves were the league's best defense in 2023-24 by a country mile and as the postseason history has taught us, defense travels no matter the venue.

In any case, Towns and frontcourt mate Rudy Gobert will have to be more than ready to exploit a Suns' interior that has been sporadic to say the very least this year. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves will hope that Edwards is able to continue the borderline MVP candidate excellence he has been able to display throughout the season against an improved Suns' defensive unit.