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Nothing has felt natural for him in working with Gobert, but Edwards keeps trying, an indomitable young spirit that is cutting through the angst in other parts of the locker room. Edwards continually sent Gobert lobs last season, but Conley having the ball in his hands helped that process. The biggest focal point is getting Edwards, the dynamic third-year player, in lock-step with him. “Ant has been turning the ball over trying to hit me, and I really appreciate that,” Gobert said. “I think you’ve got to go through that phase if you want to build that relationship. And for me, just keep being in the right spot for him, and it’s been great.”
Towns is a pick-and-pop big who prefers to drop back to the 3-point line after setting screens. Naz Reid likes to roll to the basket, but he does his best work catching pocket passes and not lobs. For Edwards, the adjustment was even greater. He has never been a lob thrower. Not in his first two seasons in Minnesota; not in his lone college season at Georgia; not in high school in Atlanta. “We didn’t have a rolling big, a vertical target. It’s not something that you look for initially when you’ve been playing three years without one,” coach Chris Finch said earlier this season.
It’s danger time in Minnesota. The losses are piling up and so are the frustrations. This passion play has been at the local art house for the last two decades, and the foundation crumbles so much more easily when it has been blown up and rebuilt over and over again. Fingers start pointing and fabric is torn and the team is staring down the barrel of a potential disaster should they finish in the lottery and give their pick to Utah, where Walker Kessler has out-performed Gobert in some loud areas this season. “I think tonight was the first time I saw them frustrated with each other through a lot of different ins and outs of the lineup, tough losses on the road, but tonight I think it manifested itself in a different way,” Finch said. “A lot of frustration with guys not making the right and simple play.”