Anthony Edwards returned this week after a four-game absence, but the tendinopathy in his left knee may force the Timberwolves guard to play with pain for the rest of the season, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Edwards, who sat out games for the first time in his NBA career, described the feeling as a “big knot just hurting, hurting, hurting.”
“It’s something that you can play through,” he said. “Certain people can play through it, but if you don’t have a certain tolerance for pain, you can’t play through that.”
Edwards is having a strong second season after finishing as the runner-up in Rookie of the Year balloting last year, but his numbers had been declining lately because of the sore knee. He said he usually felt fine at the beginning of games, but the pain would return quickly.
“It would start off good, then three to four minutes into the game, hurting, hurting, hurting for the rest of the game,” he said. “And I be in trouble because I can’t really do nothing, for real.”
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The Timberwolves could be headed to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons and they may be aiming even higher next year, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN. Minnesota owns all its first-round picks moving forward, and sources tell Lowe that the Wolves are ready “to push some chips in” this summer. The team also faces an important decision on D’Angelo Russell, who will be eligible for a max extension in the offseason.
- A depleted roster is a mixed blessing for several young Trail Blazers players, who are getting a chance to prove themselves at the NBA level but are also dealing with the embarrassment of frequent blowouts, notes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Portland has eight players who are 22 or younger, including two-way player Brandon Williams, who moved into the starting lineup this week after an injury to Anfernee Simons. “When times get low, even when times get high, you can’t be nonchalant in this league because you have another game around the corner,” Williams said.
- Jazz center Udoka Azubuike has suffered his third ankle injury in the past 13 months, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Azubuike appeared to dislocate his right ankle in the closing seconds of a G League game Thursday night.