Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins starting to score defensively, too


That is the Wiggins the Timberwolves want, and the one they’re beginning to see on a extra common foundation.

Not solely did Wiggins rating in Minnesota’s Jan. 10 win over Oklahoma Metropolis, contributing 19 factors on an environment friendly eight-for-15 capturing efficiency, however he defended, holding George — an All-NBA expertise — to thirteen factors on 5-for-14 capturing.

“I assumed we received nice contributions from Wigg,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau stated. “I assumed his all-round recreation was terrific.”

It got here on the heels of a 25-level efficiency towards Cleveland, in a recreation the place Wiggins additionally grabbed six rebounds, after which Thibodeau stated, “Andrew is admittedly doing loads of issues on the market for us — his rebounding has actually improved, his playmaking, his scoring, the power, he is doing lots of actually good issues, and that is been key for us.”

The Timberwolves have acquired contributions from nearly everybody of late, however it’s no coincidence that this present 10-recreation stretch, which has featured their greatest basketball of the season with the Wolves outscoring opponents by an NBA-greatest eleven.7 factors per one hundred possessions, has coincided with Wiggins choosing up his play on each ends of the ground, notably defensively.

“Andrew is actually approaching, so when your younger guys develop and get higher, it helps everyone,” Thibodeau stated. “Once you begin to see the blocked photographs, the rebounds and the ground recreation, the scoring has all the time been there, he is a really gifted scorer, in order that half, nevertheless it’s all the opposite issues which are beginning to come.

“He is making performs, he is blocking photographs, he is getting deflections, he is doing loads of issues which are impacting profitable.”

That is been a wrestle all through Wiggins’ profession. Sure, he can rating, however can he do the opposite stuff? These questions turned much more pertinent when the Wolves acquired the likes of Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford this offseason. These strikes lifted a few of the scoring burden off Wiggins shoulders, which meant Wiggins — who signed a max extension this fall that may come into impact subsequent season — obtained the prospect to, and needed to, impression the sport in different methods.

“We’ve an entire new staff this yr,” Wiggins stated, “so that you simply have to seek out your spots, discover what it is advisable to do to assist the workforce win.”

That was an adjustment for Wiggins, who appeared to be wading by means of the tough transitional waters for the primary couple months of the season. His shot wasn’t falling, and he wasn’t discovering many different methods to be efficient. That is modified over the…



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