Connect with us

News

Anthony Edwards gets Timberwolves’ party started in blowout win over Houston

Published

on

Anthony Edwards gets Timberwolves’ party started in blowout win over Houston

Anthony Edwards spent all offseason working on his shot. Catch and shoot, off the bounce, everything. But the work didn’t stop there.

In the days leading up to Minnesota’s season opener, Edwards texted his trainer, Justin Holland, informing him late-night gym sessions were in order.

There was more work to do, more shots to get up and a breakout celebration to prepare for. The party was Wednesday at Target Center. Sixteen thousand Timberwolves fans were invited.

And it was a rager.

Edwards announced himself as the all-star candidate he plans to be and the Timberwolves looked like the playoff contender they spoke about being all training camp as they ignited Target Center for 2½ hours Wednesday en route to a 124-106 blowout victory over Houston. Minnesota led by as many as 35.

Edwards’ extra work paid off. The second-year standout finished with 29 points — 24 in the first half — on six 3-pointers. If he hits perimeter shots like that, paired with his unstoppable ability to attack the bucket, opposing defenses may be rendered moot.

He was in a smooth rhythm Wednesday, hitting shots off the bounce, sizing up opponents before rising up over them. It all looked so easy, so natural, so Edwards.

“(Preseason) I would say I was just out there to be out there. But I’m here now. I put a lot of work in on my jumper. Hopefully it showed and I just want to continue to show progress in it,” Edwards said. “I don’t even think about it as feeling good. I think about it as that’s what I do, know what I’m saying? I put the work in, like a 9-to-5 every day in the summer. So it should fall.”

That’s exactly how Edwards operates. He entered this offseason with a changed mindset, aimed at locking in every single day with the intent to make himself a better all-around player.

The early returns are, predictably, positive.

Karl-Anthony Towns was clinical in a 30-point, 10-rebound showing on a hyper-efficient 11-for-15 shooting performance. D’Angelo Russell hit four threes in a span of 2 minutes, 8 seconds in the third quarter.

Target Center was alive for all of it.

What a revival for a building that sat in silence for so much of the 2020 season, and frankly many years prior. The energy and passion with which the Timberwolves played — from Edwards’ numerous thunderous dunks to Josh Okogie’s monstrous blocks — permeated the arena.

This is a fan base that’s begged for winning basketball for years but often has been denied. Not Wednesday.

“Man all I can say is the crowd brings a different type of energy into the gym,” said Edwards, who noted the atmosphere reminded him of his college days at Georgia. “Last year it was freezing in the gym. This year it’s hot. You hear everybody. Different atmosphere, man. Just great.”

In fairness, Wednesday’s opponent was Houston (0-1). The Rockets are expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA. The same is true of New Orleans, which Minnesota will host Saturday and Monday.

But if the Wolves play with that type of fire and passion over 82 games, they will come out victorious far more times than not. There was a play in which Malik Beasley forced a loose ball and went down near the Timberwolves’ bench. A number of his teammates instantly rallied to him and cheered as they picked him up off the floor.

Edwards is the clear ignitor. It was his pregame introduction Wednesday that drew the loudest roars, his mini-runs that brought fans to their feet.

“He definitely feeds off the crowd. Brings energy and gives it back. He was super aggressive and we kind of knew he was going to be,” Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch said. “We just got on that run there and he’s really been shooting the ball well in a great rhythm. Hasn’t made it, and we said earlier beforehand he hadn’t made it much in the preseason but in practice he’s really been shooting the ball well. It’s good to see that carry over. That moment in the second quarter just kind of changed the whole game.”

With each triple Edwards splashed, his signature grin would grow just a bit bigger as he’d gaze up at the crowd or the Wolves bench. When he buried his fifth three of the first half with 22 seconds to play in the second quarter to put Minnesota (1-0) up 29, Edwards looked over at Houston’s bench and hollered at Rockets head coach Stephen Silas to call a timeout.

“I didn’t realize the time,” Edwards said with a smile. “I didn’t realize it was 20 seconds (left) and he couldn’t call a timeout.”

It didn’t matter. The crowd loved it, as did Edwards’ teammates. Towns said the highlight plays Edwards makes provide energy and boost morale. If Edwards hammers home a dunk, the entire team is hustling back on defense, looking to make a play to back the star guard up.

“Hell yeah,” Russell said, “it’s exciting.”

Everything about Wednesday’s performance was. Maybe, if Wednesday was any indication, Timberwolves games will again be an event worth attending in downtown Minneapolis.

Anthony Edwards throws a heck of a party.

google news

News

LSU, Brian Kelly agree to 10-year contract worth at least $95M

Published

on

LSU, Brian Kelly agree to 10-year contract worth at least $95M

LSU formally announced the hiring of Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly on Tuesday and said they have agreed to a 10-year contract worth $95 million plus incentives.

The hiring of Kelly — who has led Notre Dame for the past 12 seasons and eclipsed Knute Rockne for career victories with the storied Fighting Irish — came together on Monday night in yet another blockbuster coaching move in college football.

“Brian Kelly is the epitome of a winner,” LSU athletic director Scott Woodward said. “He has built and sustained success at every program he’s led, from multiple undefeated regular seasons and National Coach of the Year honors to (Division II) national titles and College Football Playoff berths. His credentials and consistency speak for themselves.”

Kelly replaces Ed Orgeron, a Louisiana native who won a national title at LSU just two seasons ago with Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Joe Burrow leading the Tigers to a 15-0 record. Orgeron has gone 11-11 since and agreed in October to a $17 million buyout that would have him step down at the end of this season.

Orgeron coached his final game last Saturday, when the Tigers upset then-No. 14 Texas A&M to finish the regular season 6-6.

Like Orgeron, Kelly is 60 but the similarities more or less end there. Orgeron is a Cajun raised in the shadow of shrimp trawlers on the Bayou Lafourche southwest of New Orleans. He was raised on LSU football and idolized the Tigers stars of the past.

Kelly came from an Irish-Catholic family in the Boston area and is bound to be far more familiar with using nut crackers to pick the meat our of a lobster claw than with sucking seasoned juices from the heads of boiled crawfish.

But he has recruited in Louisiana, where LSU gets much of its elite home-grown talent. In recent history, Louisiana has produced as much NFL talent per capita as any state.

“I could not be more excited to join a program with the commitment to excellence, rich traditions, and unrivaled pride and passion of LSU football,” Kelly said. “I am fully committed to recruiting, developing, and graduating elite student-athletes, winning championships, and working together with our administration to make Louisiana proud.

“Our potential is unlimited,” Kelly added. “I cannot wait to call Baton Rouge home.”

LSU scheduled a flight for Kelly to Baton Rouge on Tuesday, inviting fans to greet the coach at the airport, and set Kelly’s introductory media conference for Wednesday.

Kelly is 113-40 as a head coach, including a current run of five straight double-digit victory seasons.

No previous Notre Dame coach has left the Irish, winners of eight AP national championships, to take a job at another school since the AP poll started in 1936. Rockne’s successor, Hunk Anderson, went from Notre Dame to North Carolina State after going 3-5-1 in 1933.

Notre Dame (11-1) remains in contention to reach the College Football Playoff for the third time in the last four years.

LSU paid Orgeron nearly $9 million this season, making him among the highest paid coaches in college football along with Alabama’s Nick Saban, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher and, in the past month, Mel Tucker of Michigan State and James Franklin at Penn State. That list certainly now includes USC’s Lincoln Riley, who bolted Oklahoma over the weekend in the other big coaching move this week.

Orgeron was due to make an average of $7 million over the length of his six-year that ran through 2025. Kelly’s full salary at Notre Dame, a private school, is unknown but it was believed to be more than $5 million per year.

While Kelly has no personal ties to the South, neither did two of the past three national-title winning coaches at LSU. Les Miles, who won a title in the 2007 season, was a Michigan man who coached at Oklahoma State before replacing Saban in Baton Rouge. Saban, who won the BCS championship in the 2003 season, is a West Virginia native who came to LSU from Michigan State.

google news
Continue Reading

News

Step aside, Banksy and Van Gogh: An immersive Frida Kahlo exhibit is coming to Denver

Published

on

Step aside, Banksy and Van Gogh: An immersive Frida Kahlo exhibit is coming to Denver

A new exhibit featuring the work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is coming to Denver in 2022 and, in the spirit of recent art trends, it will be an “immersive” experience that engulfs visitors in animated projections that highlight the painter and many iconic pieces and portraits from her storied career.

google news
Continue Reading

News

One dead as police investigate homicide in Arvada

Published

on

Estes Park police officer found dead following domestic violence investigation

One man is dead, and another man is in custody as police attempt to figure out what happened in Arvada on Monday.

Police are investigating a homicide inside a townhouse on 11500 West 70th Place.

The man who was killed is in his early 20s, police say.

Officials said there is no ongoing safety concern related to this incident.

google news
Continue Reading

Trending