Carsen Edwards' Teammates Encouraged by Recent Contributions
Carsen Edwards has been unleashed the last two games, and he has taken advantage of every minute the Celtics have provided him.
Sunday night against Cleveland, the sophomore guard tied his career high in scoring, notching 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, five rebounds, an assist, and a steal, all in 19 minutes of action.
The following night in Chicago, he was handed 12 more minutes of action, during which he produced six points on 2-for-3 shooting from long range to go along with two steals.
As Edwards’ teammates watched his shooting hand get hot over those two nights, it reminded them of the March Madness monster that they witnessed two years ago at Purdue – the one who set the NCAA single-tournament 3-point record with 28 triples in just four games.
“He’s playing like the Carsen we know – the Carsen at Purdue, with that confidence,” fellow guard Marcus Smart said Wednesday afternoon following shootaround in San Antonio.
So far this season, Edwards tallied 37 points on 48.4 percent shooting from the field in 60 minutes of action. That translates to 22.2 points per 36 minutes, which is fourth on the team behind Jayson Tatum (30.1), Jaylen Brown (27.9), and Kemba Walker (26.0). No one else on the squad is averaging more than 15.2 points per 36 minutes.
Last season, by comparison, the 5-foot-11 guard averaged 12.4 points per 36 minutes while shooting just 32.8 percent from the field.
Edwards believes that his increased output of late is largely due to his persistence. “I just want to continue to work to try to be consistent with whatever opportunity I get. Just try to do the best I can with it. I think I’m taking an approach to the game of just trying to play the right way and do the right things.”
If inconsistency occurs, Edwards deals with it by taking a page out of Brad Stevens’ book by simply focusing only on the things that he can control.
“Some shots are not going to go in, some shots are. Some nights you have good nights, sometimes you won’t,” Edwards said. “But you can always control how hard you play. There’s things you can control, like your assignments and stuff like that … I feel like those are ways to get yourself in a rhythm, and then everything else will fall into place. So that’s why I approach everything that way.”
Edwards was hit by an uncontrollable element a few weeks ago when he tested positive for COVID-19. He missed five games while dealing with moderate symptoms, such as loss of taste and smell, but that didn’t deter him from coming back and producing his best effort of the season against the Cavaliers.
“For him to come back and play with that type of confidence the way he has, especially after coming back from that protocol, being gone for that long, is a good sign for him and us,” said Smart. “It just shows the steps that he’s taking are heading in the right direction.
“We’re proud of him. That’s the Carsen we need. He has to play with that confidence because if he doesn’t, it gets in his own head and he stops himself from allowing that potential to shine. So we’re very proud of Carsen, and we’re looking forward to seeing more of him.”
Edwards didn’t want to talk up his recent contributions too much, knowing that it’s a small sample size. But there’s no question that his spirits have been boosted and that he is looking forward to adding to his game even more.
“I still believe that there’s a lot of room for improvement for me,” Edwards said. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to say that the game has completely slowed down, but I think I’m just seeing stuff where I'm growing and continuing to try to find ways to improve.”