Anthony Edwards says Timberwolves didn’t train for long playoff run

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ season ended in a 124-103 loss to the Dallas Mavericks Thursday night in the Western Conference Finals, and players took their turns after reflecting on the series and the season.

It was a historic season for the Timberwolves. Their 56 regular season wins were second-most in franchise history. They made their longest playoff run in two decades, something Anthony Edwards said the team wasn’t ready for.

In some surprising postgame comments, he said the team didn’t train last summer as if they were going to make a deep playoff run. That’s after two straight seasons of being eliminated in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.

"We trained this year as if we were just going to play 82 games, maybe one round of the playoffs. We didn’t know we was going to go this far, so we didn’t train like it this summer, nobody did," Edwards said. "This summer is going to be huge for all of us because we know what type of team we’ve got and we know what we’re capable of so we need to train like we know what we’re going to do."

They swept the Phoenix Suns, they knocked off the defending champion Denver Nuggets in seven games and looked physically and mentally tired early in the series against the Dallas Mavericks. Edwards, who will play with Team USA in the upcoming Summer Olympics, says it’s a lesson learned.

"I’ve never played this deep into a basketball season, now I know for me to be able to be dominant in the third round and go to the finals, I’ve got to train like I know I’m going to the playoffs," Edwards said. "I can’t be missing training days, I can’t take days off, I’ve got to be ready. Now I know what it takes, I’ll be ready."

The Timberwolves feel they have a nucleus to sustain what they did this year. Edwards was Second Team All-NBA, Naz Reid was the Sixth Man of the Year, Rudy Gobert was the Defensive Player of the Year and Chris Finch was a finalist for Coach of the Year. The hope is this year is the start of sustained success.

"We’ll be back next year. It’s super fun and I’m looking forward to being right in this situation next year," Edwards said.