When Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins was in Minnesota playing for the Timberwolves, all you ever heard about was what he couldn’t do.
But thus far in Golden State, the only question is: what can’t Wiggins do?
Though star guard Stephen Curry exploded for a flurry of points in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 130-108 win against the Timberwolves, it was Wiggins that was Golden State’s most steady two-way player on the court all night long. He’s doing things that fans in Minnesota thought they’d never see.
Here’s his incredible stat line against his former team, thanks to NBC’s Drew Shiller.
The shooting percentage, often criticized in Minnesota, is fantastic, and look as those steals and blocks. That simply was not a part of Wiggins’ game before he came to San Francisco. And it’s not just a one-night performance. He has the most blocks of any non-center in the NBA, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
Here he is turning defense to offense. He’s free from the burden of being his team’s No. 1 scorer, and he’s using his physical gifts as he never has before, as in on defense. Wiggins’ defense has been ridiculed throughout his career, and now this:
As one can see from that dunk, Wiggins still thrived on offense, which has been his specialty throughout his career, though he’s been criticized for his inconsistency in the past. But look at this dribble-between-the-legs 3-point shot from the man nicknamed Maple Jordan.
Much credit goes to coach Steve Kerr and the coaching staff for challenging Wiggins to be a great defender. Credit to the front office as well, for acquiring Wiggins via trade. Right now, everyone in Golden State is very happy with the deal, and if it stays that way, it probably means Golden State will make the playoffs.
Here’s Kerr’s partial postgame comment about Wiggins’ big night. It’s all part of the plan in Golden State.
But for today, Wiggins can simply enjoy having a fantastic game against his old team, no doubt frustrating many Wolves fans in the process. The Warriors improve to 9-8 and face the Timberwolves yet again on Wednesday night.
(Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)