November 19th 2016
Is this the Andrew Wiggins we have been waiting for? The Timberwolves have a 4-7 record to start the season, so you may be wondering why the play of Andrew Wiggins would be a topic of discussion.
This is Andrew’s 3rd season in the NBA. He was the number one pick in the draft three seasons ago by the Cleveland Cavaliers and was traded to Minnesota before he could ever play a professional game. The Cavaliers may have gotten the better end of the deal initially, (two consecutive trips to the finals and a championship) however Wiggins’ improvement to begin this season is a great example of why teams would be wise to be patient with young and potential filled players.
He begins his 3rd campaign with some impressive numbers and it is easy to see why there is so much optimism about the future of the Timberwolves. It is clear that Wiggins worked, and worked hard this offseason to improve his overall game.
Lets look at the numbers through 11 games, 52.3% from behind the arc (which leads the NBA), leading his team with 26 points per game and shooting 47% from the field overall. He looks very comfortable on the offensive end this season. He comes off screens and steps into jump shots, he has improved his arsenal in the post and his efficiency from behind the arc makes him a tough matchup and he has been thus far this season.
He had a career high 47-points against the Lakers on November 13th (no need to discuss his free-throw attempts, they fouled him and he made them), followed that with a 29-point performance (in a loss) against the Hornets on November 15th then showcased his polished offensive game in a nationally televised matchup against the Sixers on Thursday November 17th with 35-points, going 14-20 from the field. He made some dazzling plays, he hit a 3-point shot to end the first half and he showed some of his abilities on defense. Wiggins and the rest of the wolf pack came out ready to play and came out with a decisive victory.
Wiggins was highly coveted coming out of the University of Kansas however there were questions about his demeanor. He seemed quiet and some would argue that he didn’t seem engaged early on. I would ask those same people how they would feel if they were the number one draft pick and traded away before you could prove yourself? Would Wiggins have come into his own playing with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James?
Andrew’s first two seasons in the league were not all world, however he showed room for improvement. The athletic young player has shown early on this season that his confidence is at a high level. More efficient shot selection and a willingness to get to the line has increased his scoring output. This season the Timberwolves have aspirations to make the playoffs and with Wiggins playing at a high level along with the improvements of Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine they may have a chance to achieve their goals.
The pressure and scrutiny that comes with being the number one overall pick is already a challenge for any player but Wiggins played through the trade and has put himself in a position to silence his critics with his play on the court this season.
Thank You for reading
Sherman Gomez is a Staff Writer for PureSportsNY
Follow him on Twitter at sherman@shermangmz1
Photo Credit: Brad Rempel USA Today Sports