Carsen Edwards Eager to Prove Himself in Year 2
BOSTON – After playing a part in one of the strangest rookie experiences in NBA history, Celtics guard Carsen Edwards is ready to turn the page and move on to Year 2.
Edwards and the entire 2019 rookie class was dealt with a major developmental curveball last season by having their introductory NBA experience cut short in mid-March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to hit the US in significant fashion. For those who weren’t on playoff teams, their rookie seasons ended immediately, while the rest were placed into limbo for four-plus months before resuming the season in late-July inside the NBA bubble.
Unlike a typical four-month offseason, Edwards and the rest of the Celtics rookies only had two months to reflect and adjust before transitioning back into training camp for the 2020-21 campaign, while also not having the opportunity to participate in Summer League. But he made do with the hand he was dealt and feels that he is coming into this season as prepared as he could possibly be.
“I thought my offseason went well, in a sense, being able to get away from the game but at the same time, I worked out the whole offseason,” Edwards said during a conference call with the media Monday afternoon. “It was good to focus on improvement and looking over my year and regrouping at the same time.
“I mean, it was a short offseason but at the same time, people here, they try to help us and get us ready the best they can. At the end of the day, we'll just see when we get on the floor, but I feel good.”
Edwards played a limited role for Boston last season, playing in 37 regular-season games at around 9.5 minutes per appearance. He had a couple of promising outings, such as an 18-point effort against Washington on Nov. 13, 2019, as well as a 30-point performance against Cleveland during the preseason.
However, being a part of such a deep roster resulted in Edwards earning inconsistent playing time. That, in addition to the mid-season pause, made for a challenging rookie experience overall.
Still, Edwards made the most out of the experience, especially during Boston’s extended stay inside the Florida bubble.
He said that being around his teammates in such a secluded environment helped him to “learn how to use my platform and understand the best way to go about things and handle yourself off the court. But also being around these guys and just being in meetings, or in our free time just talking to them and learning from their experiences and also just kind of hearing what they say about going through the ups and downs of the season and the unexpected and being able to be prepared for whatever it may be. It was a learning experience for me overall, and a blessing to be with this team and with a good group of guys.”
In a way, since Edwards wasn’t a frequent participant in the Playoffs, his bubble experience could be viewed as an enhanced offseason. It allowed him to grow within a highly-competitive environment, all while picking the minds of his veteran teammates.
In the months since, Edwards worked a great deal on his defense and continued to hone his deadly 3-point shot in the hope of being able to contribute more this coming season.
“I feel like I can help out any way they ask me to help when they put me on the floor,” he stated eagerly. “Whether that's being solid on defense and picking up and guarding my man well, being able to spread the floor and knock down shots. Just anything they ask me to do, try my best to do it.”