Clippers get stranded on Wiggins Island as Warriors cruise to Thanksgiving's Eve win
Golden State is now only one game below .500, be grateful!
The Golden State Warriors knocked off the Los Angeles Clippers 125-107 last night on the eve of Thanksgiving to raise their mighty home record to 8-1. Here’s a tasty bit of gold-blooded slander for you to consume with your cranberry sauce: last night Andrew Wiggins scored more points than Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined.
Sure Leonard and PG13 weren’t playing as they try to get healthy, but as Fitz always says, the best ability is availability.
Wiggins certainly was available last night to drop 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field (6-of-10 from deep!) and snag three steals. DNHQ legend Dr. Tom, straight outta Alameda, joined forces me with me many moons ago to warn the NBA that Wiggins would be a great fit with the Splash Bros. Now it seems like folks are just kinda used to Wiggins completely shifting the momentum of a game Golden State’s way.
Can Wiggins carry a team on a deep playoff run as the #1 star player?
If you ask the Minnesota Timberwolves (who traded Wiggins AND a lottery pick to get rid of him) that’d probably be a resounding no. But how about a reality where Wiggins is a third option in the whirring, pass-heavy buzzsaw that is Steve Kerr’s motion offense? Suddenly he has the energy to play lockdown defense, dominate the boards, and get you big time buckets.
Why is Wiggins turning into Ray Allen from beyond the arc?
Wiggins is shooting 49-of-101 on catch and shoot jumpers this season. That’s a 48% clip folks, boosting him up to the 93rd percentile (!) in the league’s “Points Per Possession” rank. According to Synergy Sports, that’s classified as Excellent. Those totally tubular numbers also make up for 56% of all of Wiggins’ jumpshots.
That means over half the time he’s taking a jumper, it’s a relaxed set shot with proper balance and rhythm. Wiggins is taking advantage of the spacing on this team, orbiting around the perimeter like a wide receiver trying to find the soft spot in the zone so his quarterback can find him.
Maple Jordan has also taken 41 jumpers off of the dribble, which have yielded nowhere near the same efficiency. He’s converted 12 of those attempts, putting him into the 10th percentile of Points Per Possession, which Synergy declared as “Poor”. Hmm, so you’re saying that when Wiggins takes a catch-and-shoot opportunity, he’s elite…but when you have him try to create jumpers off the dribble, he’s nowhere near as efficient?
In that case, it’s a good thing that the Warriors have led the league in assists for like a decade and preach an unselfish ethos of ball movement spearheaded by playmakers like Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. Those two combined to set Wiggins up on seven of his twelve makes last night.
Here’s how important that floor-stretching wing position is: If Harrison Barnes had done some version of what Wiggins did last night in the 2016 Finals, the Cavaliers would have been destroyed lolol sorry I still have PTSD.
We can’t take it forgranted that the Warriors actually won a championship by filling the void Kevin Durant left at the small forward position by developing Wiggins into an All-Star.
Wellp now the Dubs are 9-10 on the season despite losing all but one of their road games. They’re three games out of first place in the Western Conference standings. Let’s eat some turkey.