"I want to be a legend here"
Golden State rolls into Minnesota, a team badly in need of a guy like Wiggins
The Golden State Warriors have won three in a row. It wasn’t started by a trade or anything drastic, just health - and maybe a thrown mouthpiece. As the team chases down a favorable seed for their presumed playoff push, one thing is becoming more clear: this franchise believes in their core.
With a bunch of early struggle in the rearview and eyes fixed firmly ahead, the Warriors are leaning into their core players. Can they start to stack up some wins in the wide open West?
With a newfound sense of balance, Golden State is hitting the road for a bunch of battles against their conference opponents. It’s hard to say if anything is really “make or break” given how funky the season has been so far, but this upcoming schedule certainly qualifies as an opportunity.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (26-24) at Minnesota Timberwolves (27-26)
WHEN: Wednesday, February 1st, 2023 // 5pm PDT
The legend of Andrew Wiggins grows in Golden State
Andrew Wiggins is an easy player to like. But more importantly, he’s a player that has been a fantastic fit on a Warriors team that badly needed a guy just like him. A prototypical two-way wing, Wiggins has cemented his position with Golden State - and the admiration is mutual.
The Warriors know what they have with their core three. But as they age, and as the roster gets stretched thinner and thinner, there’s got to be a fresh influx coming in from somewhere. Jordan Poole, Kevon Looney, and Andrew Wiggins are here already, and as the franchise moves into whatever the end game of this season is going to be, they’re going to be just as important as the core three.
It’s crazy that more consideration isn’t given to the correlation between the Warriors’ injuries and their record. Draymond Green has missed five games. Curry has missed 15 of the 45 games played so far this season. Klay Thompson missed 11 - and was probably half way checked out for another 11 or so as he worked his way back into game shape.
There’s always been room here for Wiggins. But now that the core is aging and the edges of the roster are under redevelopment, there’s a need for him.
Defensively, Golden State needs Wiggins versatility and hard-nosed feel around the basket (on both ends). His emergence and excellence in the playoffs last season was pivotal in a lot of ways and will once again be needed if the Warriors hope to push deep into the playoffs for a legitimate chase of a potential repeat as champs.
The second timeline of Kuminga, Wiseman, and Moody isn’t playable yet. Maybe ever. Though Kuminga has emerged from the fray to make a case for a spot in the playoff rotation, the bulk of this season’s success will once again reside with the proven core.
Wiggins is something of a middleman - in all the best ways.
In the last game, the headlines were rightly emphasizing the Splash Brothers big night. But the unheralded Wiggins performance bears some additional praise. As this squad fights for consistency, two-way Wiggs is a fantastic guy to have in your corner. He’s leaned into his role here, embracing the role of do-it-all defender, and opportunistic scorer. In Golden State, there are plenty of opportunities for both - but the team still needs someone as ready as Wiggins is right now to take full advantage.
Against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the duo of Wiggins and Kuminga were too much for Shai Gilchrist-Alexander. Guarded by Wiggins and Kuminga, the rising Thunder star was just: 4-9 (44%) 0-1 from deep with 1 Turnover with Kuminga on him; and 3-5 (60%) with 3 turnovers against Wiggins.
The point is that for a real “bridge to the future” to occur, there needs to be some connective tissue. Wiggins could very well be that guy, and Golden State is lucky to have him. Thanks again, Minnesota!
Wiggins cooks, dunks, and wins. Warriors are going streaking!