mobile app bar

Defending Anthony Edwards’ Mental Fatigue, Kendrick Perkins Calls Out Karl-Anthony Towns For Poor Performance

Shubham Singh

Defending Anthony Edwards' Mental Fatigue, Kendrick Perkins Calls Out Karl-Anthony Towns For Poor Performance

After sizzling in the first two rounds of the 2024 playoffs, Anthony Edwards seems to have hit a wall being inefficient and non-assertive during the WCF series against the Dallas Mavericks. While he has had to face various struggles in the stacked Western Conference, the Luka Doncic-Kyrie Irving duo is surely taking a toll on him. Kendrick Perkins believes that Ant-Man isn’t responsible for his squad’s woes as he pinned the blame on Karl-Anthony Towns.

While on the ‘Road Trippin’ podcast, Perkins called out Towns for being outplayed by Mavs rookie Center Derek Lively II. He pointed out that the Timberwolves’ sharpshooting big was relegated to the bench in late-game situations as he wasn’t able to hold his own against Lively,

I didn’t expect a rookie to be outplaying Karl Anthony-Towns so bad that he was benched in the fourth quarter.”

Talking about Edwards, Perk highlighted that he was bound to experience such “growing pains”. He argued that historically young players, who make deep postseason runs, have always hit a wall in such scenarios. Since KAT disappeared in the series, the 22-year-old has had extra responsibilities including shutting down seasoned scorer Kyrie Irving.

The 2007-08 NBA champion stated that a deep playoff run has brought “fatigue” to Edwards which is exacerbated when he is going up against Kai,

I’m looking at Anthony Edwards right now and he is fatigued, it’s not because he is chasing and going up against Kyrie Irving, that plays a part, but more than that going into a deep postseason run, if you never did that before, you don’t know better.”

KAT hasn’t helped his case too by shooting below 30% from the floor in the first two games while being lost on the defense consistently. He and Rudy Gobert have had no answer for the Derek Lively II-Daniel Gafford duo, thus far. 

Derek Lively II has been the X-factor

Derek Lively II has taken full advantage of playing alongside defensive magnets Doncic and Irving. With the Slovenian hitting him with lobs and lead passes, all Lively II has to do is collect the ball and jam it in. He has had plenty of open lanes to operate and a lot of space to gather rebounds.

In the first two games of the WCF series, he has clasped 20 rebounds, compared to Rudy Gobert, who has 17, and Karl Anthony-Towns with 14 rebounds. Since Doncic and Irving are both well-adept at scoring from near the rim and from the perimeter, the Wolves have been unable to stifle the Mavs’ charge in the paint.

Two high-quality scorers combined with Lively II have produced efficient offense. The Mavs have made 38 out of their 51 shots in the paint, accounting for 76 points on an incredible 74.5% shooting from the field, per Basketball Reference.

This is a huge concern for the Wolves because while they have managed to outplay Mavericks from the three-point line, they have been massively outscored from mid-range and the paint. Gobert and KAT will need to work harder on both ends of the floor or their season will end before the championship round.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

Read more from Shubham Singh

Share this article