After loss to Mavs, are Warriors wasting Andrew Wiggins' prime?
How much losing can Maple Jordan take before he demands either more help...or a ticket out of the Bay? NO I AM NOT OVERREACTING TO A RANDOM JANUARY LOSS.
*finishes drinking mug of Hennessy, takes an exasperated sigh, and begins blogging*
The Golden State Warriors lost last night to the Dallas Mavericks 99-82 despite limiting the Mavs to 37% shooting from the field and 30% from three-point range. A big part of the reason is because some of the highest paid players on the team just didn’t perform.
Take a look at the top salaries on a team that Joe Lacob and Co. put together, courtesy of Hoops Hype:
Stephen Curry shot an egregious 5-of-24 from the field, hitting only one of his nine attempts from beyond the arc. Sure had 9 rebounds and 5 assists, but he also had 5 turnovers folks. That’s just not going to get it done. The poor shooting in particular stands a game after he shot 3-of-17 from the field against Miami.
Let’s go to Dub Nation Twitter’s best and brightest minds to figure out what he should do:
Makes sense to me! Give Curry the ball and let him get busy like he’s back in grade school. Wait, Draymond Green disagrees:
Hm! Okay, well maybe I don’t know what Curry should do then. Unfortunately Mr. Green had a rough night of his own in the box score, tallying 2 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 turnovers. That’s as many points + rebounds as turnovers; not a great look for the future Hall-of-Famer.
And then Klay Thompson had 0 points, 0 rebounds, and 0 assists. Sure it’s because he didn’t play at all, but as Bob Fitzgerald always says, the best ability is availability.
That’s why it may be time to be concerned about Andrew Wiggins asking for a trade. He led the team in scoring last night with 17 points on an efficient 7-of-13 shooting from the field, nailing two of his five attempts, which is good for 40%. He only made one of his four free throw attempts but can you blame the guy for being exhausted from carrying this franchise? Here’s footage of him desperately trying to keep the Dubs in striking distance despite getting little help:
Wiggins had a wonderful ESPN profile on him yesterday by Baxter Holmes, and this quote stuck out for me:
"The thing that people don't see in athletes is, just like us, they want to enjoy going to work," says Warriors general manager Bob Myers said of Wiggins. "They want to enjoy who they work with. And the NBA is tough. The idea with him was putting him around some teammates that can bolster him."
That aspect was paramount, Kevin Garnett says: The supporting cast of the Warriors could push Wiggins in ways that perhaps he had always needed.
“Putting him around some teammates that can bolster him”, eh? WHERE WERE THOSE TEAMMATES LAST NIGHT, DAMMIT!
If the Warriors don’t want to waste Wiggins’ prime, they better add the pieces around him to guarantee his best chance at an NBA title. Here’s a few ideas off the top of my head:
1.) Add a future Hall-of-Famer wing with elite shooting and defense. Somebody who can keep defenses honest by breaking the NBA record for most points in a quarter, that’s not too much to ask. (Editor’s note: Klay should be back this weekend).
2.) Add quality wing depth around Wiggins so that when he comes out the game there’s no dropoff. The Dubs could use a point forward to run the offense with elite defense and clutch shotmaking ability, someone who maybe has won a Finals MVP in the past. They could also use a deadly shooter who can guard multiple positions. (Editor’s note: Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. did not play last night).
3.) This team really needs an athletic big man who can get his own scoring around the rim based on pure height and talent. Hopefully a young guy with his whole career ahead of him. (Editor’s note: last year’s #2 pick James Wiseman did not play last night).
Poor Wiggins. Golden State better get it together if they want to get the best record in the NBA. Right now they’re currently 29-8 which is *checks notes* actually the best record in the NBA. FOR NOW.
The Dubs have no time to mourn the loss to Dallas because they’re headed to New Orleans to battle the Pelicans on the second night of a back-to-back. That game will be this evening at 5pm PT on NBC Sports Bay Area.
Hopefully they lean on Wiggins’ leadership to get the W.