“This is not Jamal Murray” - Gilbert Arenas and Kenyon Martin agree Kyrie Irving is gonna show up Anthony Edwards

“this is not jamal murray” - gilbert arenas and kenyon martin agree kyrie irving is gonna show up anthony edwards

edwards-and-irving

The Minnesota Timberwolves endured a grueling matchup against the Denver Nuggets in the conference semifinals. The series went the distance and saw Anthony Edwards cement his status as one of the game's finest two-way wings.

After helping limit Jamal Murray to a subpar performance for most of the previous round, including in the second half of Game 7, Edwards is now tasked with covering Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks. According to retired All-Stars Gilbert Arenas and Kenyon Martin, Ant-Man is now tasked with an even gigantic responsibility.

"The fact that Anthony Edwards publicly said, 'I'm about to guard him (Irving),' that's not the person," Arenas stated on his show. "You want him docile. He's been docile. ... The fact that you challenged him means his engine's on, and he's going to try to sit there and body you. And that's not what you want."

"This is not Jamal Murray," Martin added. "I respect Jamal Murray game. I do, brother. ... This is not him. You going to come out that b*tch aggressive, and he gonna make you touch earth."

What the star guards have said

Edward's stout defense on Murray in Game 7 had the Nuggets guard scoring just 11 on 5-for-12 shooting after a 24-point explosion in the first half. Following the contest, Ant boldly declared he had his opponent in handcuffs.

The newly minted All-NBA Second-Team selection also declared postgame that he was looking forward to facing Irving in the next round, saying it was "gonna be fun."

Well, it seems it was Kyrie who was jovial after Dallas beat Minnesota 108-105 in the series opener. The eight-time All-Star broke out of a mini-slump, putting up his first 30-point game since the first round. He also shot 12-for-23 and aggressively attacked the defense, with 24 of his total points coming in before halftime.

After the game, Irving shared that he loved hearing Edward's confidence, referring to it as the no-fear mentality that has made the 22-year-old rising superstar a favorite. However, the veteran star also said he used the statement as motivation.

Edwards' tough assignment

For one evening, Kyrie proved Arenas and Martin right. It seems the three-time All-NBA selection is more than a handful for Ant, who admitted being a little tired entering Game 1.

It's also possible that Edwards is just a bit in over his head and should have avoided poking the bear. After all, in the four regular-season meetings the pair have met in their careers, Irving has never scored fewer than 27 and shot less than 50.0%.

Of course, it's just the first contest in what could be a lengthy battle between the Western Conference juggernauts. Edwards could turn it up after a brief rest prior to Game 2. Moreover, the Wolves have displayed one of the best defenses in this campaign, so they can likely make the necessary adjustments to try to limit Irving for the remainder of the series.

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