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DALLAS – Sometimes age catches up with an athlete in big moments, when their bodies might not be able to do the things they once could.

Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards might be having the opposite problem as the Timberwolves face a 2-0 hole in the Western Conference finals with Game 3 looming on Sunday: His youth might be catching up to him.

Throughout this playoff run, the Wolves are asking a lot of the 22-year-old All-NBA player, and early in Edwards' career, it seemed as if he could outrun his postseason inexperience and possibly defy recent NBA history in the process.

In the first round of the playoffs, Edwards was a marvel against the Suns and scored 33 or more points in three of the four games. He was making the right decisions all around the floor, and when he sealed Game 4 with an electrifying dunk, it was clear Edwards' ascension was underway.

In the second-round series against Denver, he had two games in which he scored 40 or more, and he paced a huge Game 6 with 27 points. His performance was more inconsistent as he faced constant double-teams later in the series, and in Game 7 he shot just 6-for-24, but he found other ways to contribute in that critical game.

Edwards has looked flummoxed so far against the Mavericks, who have found a way to bottle him up by, like Denver, throwing a lot of defenders at him and mixing up coverages to confuse him. Through two games, it has worked wonders for the Mavericks, and the Wolves are left wondering what might be if Edwards played even an average game.

"They're just showing me crowds, man, sitting in the gaps," Edwards said. "But I'm turning down a lot of shots, like my midranges and stuff. I'm turning a lot of those down. But we're getting open looks, so I ain't tripping."

Through two matchups, he is just 11-for-33. He appeared to find a way around that in Game 2, when he shot six free throws, but he had just three the rest of the game.

"With Anthony, he's gotta pick up his decisionmaking," coach Chris Finch said. "I think Kyrie [Irving] is actually a good example — he's playing quick off the catch, he's trying to beat our defensive pressure with everything on the catch, going quickly."

Finch using Irving as an example for Edwards to follow is a telling moment for the Wolves. Irving, 32, is a playoff veteran with a championship ring who has seen years of defenses throwing puzzles at him in high-leverage moments. His teammate Luka Doncic is 25, but in NBA years, 25 can be miles ahead of 22. Consider the last couple of decades of NBA Finals matchups.

It's rare that a 22-year-old leads his team in scoring while also leading it to the finals. It takes even the best of today's NBA stars a few more years to reach that point.

LeBron James was the last 22-year-old to lead his team in scoring and make a finals appearance in 2007.

Players such as Phoenix's Devin Booker and Boston's Jayson Tatum were each 24 when they led their teams in scoring and got to the finals in recent seasons. James and Golden State's Stephen Curry were each 27 when they won their first titles. A few more years could do wonders for Edwards when it comes to mastering NBA defenses in the postseason.

Earlier in the playoffs, it seemed as if Edwards had taken another step. His decisionmaking in the series against the Suns was nearly perfect, and it was perhaps an indication that his game was taking another leap at just the right moment. But Game 7 against Denver and the first two games of this series have been humbling for him and the Wolves. He's finding the lane a little more clogged thanks to Dallas' length.

"It's not harder to get there. They just pack the paint once you get there," Edwards said. "So, I mean, you've got to make the right play because there's three, four people in the paint. You've got to watch the game, so it's all about just making the right play, and my teammates are open."

And when his running mate on offense, Karl-Anthony Towns, is also struggling to score (10-for-36 in the series), the problems Edwards is having attacking Dallas become more glaring.

NBA history says Doncic is at the right age for his first breakthrough for the finals while Edwards might still be a few years away, a few playoff disappointments away. This series may end up serving as an important battle scar, as hard as it is to take at the moment, unless he can figure things out fast.