The Minnesota Timberwolves may not be a contender for the NBA championship, but they don’t seem to be lacking in confidence.
Guard Anthony Edwards, who was named to his first All-Star team this season, is averaging 24.7 points per game while shooting 46.1 percent overall and 37.1 percent from 3-point range, and last offseason he said he would soon be in the conversation as arguably the best player in the game.
In addition, Jaden McDaniels, one of their starting forwards, thinks he’s the best defender in the entire league.
Jaden McDaniels makes his claim as the best defender in the NBA 🔒 pic.twitter.com/OR0SNp5vLd
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 23, 2023
McDaniels, who stands 6-foot-9 but is listed at just 185 pounds, is averaging 12.3 points, 0.9 steals and 1.0 blocked shots per game while shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from 3-point range.
He is certainly one of the NBA’s rising defensive aces, and he is starting to take some real pride in that aspect of basketball.
McDaniels isn’t the only one who thinks highly of his ability to stop opponents.
“I think we have the best perimeter defender in the NBA,” veteran Austin Rivers said recently. “His ability to guard not only quick guards, but big guards, I don’t think there’s anyone that can do it better than him.”
Even if McDaniels is indeed the best defender in the game, his team needs a little more on that end of the floor.
Minnesota ranks 13th in defensive rating, and it is clinging to its playoff hopes, as it currently sits in seventh place in the Western Conference, which means if the season ended today, it would have to participate in the play-in tournament.
But it received a big boost on Wednesday when star center Karl-Anthony Towns returned after being out since late November with a calf strain, and his mere presence could help the team go on a bit of a surge to end the schedule.NEXT: NBA World Reacts To Today's Karl-Anthony Towns News