The same volatile claims followed Andrew Wiggins throughout his eight seasons in the NBA.
Doesn’t care enough. Runs in defense. The talent is clearly there, but does he really love the game of basketball?
As Wiggins showed even before hitting the Warriors via a massive trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2019-20 deadline, he has the potential to get hot and put all doubts temporarily.
During a two-month period in December and January, he averaged 18.1 points and shot 44.7 percent from a 3-point range, a 26-game period that earned him one of his 10 points. As an NBA All-Star rookie.
But then, Wiggins disappeared. As the Warriors battled through major injuries to Steve Curry, Draymond Green and others to close out the regular season schedule, Wiggins’ production dropped to 15.7 points per game and a 33.7 percent cut-off after the All-Star break. He dropped 56.3 percent of attempts from the free-throw line at that distance, eliminating all of his All-Star power and begs the question Whether he has what it takes to contribute to the Golden State Championship race.
In an interview with 95.7 Mark Willard and Dan Dipley from the game On Tuesday, Warriors player development coach Bruce Fraser highlighted the Warriors striker and cleared up any questions regarding the 27-year-old’s misunderstood monotony.
“He has a calm demeanor,” Fraser said. “But it’s more competitive than you think. It’s hard to play at that level, frankly, if you don’t have a competitive spirit.
“Roads on [Wiggins] Was he always so talented that he was successful in his talent. But what you don’t see in it is an inner fire burning. It is competitive. He wants to win.”
Wiggins showed that fire while being the most important player for the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks at Chase Center Wednesday night. With Gary Payton II still out of a broken elbow, Wiggins was tasked with the team’s most important task in his game plan to defeat the Mavs – star stop Luka Dončić.
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Guarded by Wiggins in most of the Warriors’ 112-87 wins over Dallas, Doncic was limited to 20 shooting points in 6 of 18 and scored more turnovers (7) than field goals scored (6). Wiggins passed the test, again silencing skeptics.
“He’s a very good basketball player,” said Fraser. “He is skilled. The only thing that has helped him here is that we have a really good culture where all the things that people have been talking about in the past came out. He was a great addition. I think he gained his defensive strength, and that is what really helped us.”
Wiggins will be asked to shadow Dončić again Friday night in Game 2 of the series. Go to the NBC Sports Bay area at 5 p.m. to watch the game preview on “Warriors Live: Playoff Edition.”
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