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Warriors destroy Mavericks in Game 1: Playoff Wiggins has been unleashed
WIGGINS ISLAND IS ACCEPTING NEW VISAS!
The Golden State Warriors humiliated the Dallas Mavericks 112-87 in Game 1 of the 2022 Western Conference Finals. Chase Center was rocking, and the Dubs are three wins away from returning back to the NBA Finals. Not bad for a team some of the analytics geniuses predicted would be turrible *Charles Barkley voice*.
I really don’t know why people keep doubting Golden State with such indignation.
Speaking of horrendous takes, in my time on the interwebs (and barbershops) I’ve seen some fans become very embarrassed/upset when you take their old, erroneous takes and throw them back in their faces like tomatoes hurled at a bad comedian.
I’ve never understood that lack of humility. What’s wrong with being roasted for being hilariously wrong? Heck, if you look at the top two articles in DNHQ history they’re literally titled “My Worst Take” (with my emotional Monta > Steph take holding the top spot). I believe those pieces resonate with people because they can have fun either relating to or crucifying someone else’s strongly held opinion with the benefit of hindsight.
Capturing those takes when they’re fresh and sussing them out down the road for how much sense they did or didn’t make is an art form. It’s not just about dunking on the opinions that time eventually reveals to be trash, or breathlessly worshipping those who saw the future early. It’s more about being grateful that those data points give us a databank of history from which we can learn the way fellow sportsball watchers come to conclusions… and reveal to us our own biases.
For example, I can tell you for sure that Nick Wright is paid to say the most inflammatory possible thing when the Warriors are involved for clickbait’s sake. You’re probably thinking I’m referring to his most recent cartoonish prediction of “Mavericks in 5”. But after last night’s win, I’m pondering this other insane clip:
At the time this buffoonery came out, I was immediately alarmed to see a large swath of members of Dub Nation echoing his hyperbolically panicky stance when the Warriors acquired Andrew Wiggins. This guy pays his bills by coming up with the stupidest disrespectful takes on the Warriors; why on earth would an extremely vocal portion GSW fanbase fall in lockstep with his talking points?
Wiggins spent the last 3 seasons in every single trade fever dream in large part because people truly believed that the former Minnesota Timberwolf’s failure to match the lofty expectations of a former #1 pick and his giant salary would destroy Steph Curry’s chances at another title.
That’s why I knew it was important to immediately document this handwringing fervor for future posterity. Voila! The second most popular article in DNHQ history was born:
Our guy Duby Dub Dubs now appreciates the Wiggins Island experience, and it has a lot to do with performances like the one Wiggs put up in Game 1 last night. Per NBA.com tracking data, Wiggins limited the Mavericks to 7-of-17 shooting from the field when he was locked on them. Unguardable superstar Luka Doncic shot 4-of-10 from the field (3-of-7 from downtown) with three turnovers with Wiggins guarding him.
Wiggins did a fantastic job of picking up Doncic well above the three-point line and staying with him. Doncic, the man some are referring to as “White Harden”, hunted switches with more desirable defenders like Jordan Poole. When Doncic recognizes he can’t get anything out of the switch (we’re not trash like Phoenix buddy), he tries to blow by Wiggins and can’t hold on the ball.
And here’s Wiggins forcing Doncic away from the screen he wants and chasing him into no man’s land in the paint. Wiggins deflects the desperate pass attempt and the Dubs are off to the races.
Doncic finished with 20 points on 6-of-18 shooting from the field and 7 turnovers. He was a ghastly -30 plus/minus from the field. Wiggins was a key part of that disastrous performance.
But it wasn’t just elite defense we saw from Wiggins last night. He scored 19 points with 5 rebounds on 8-of-17 shooting and knocked down 3-of-8 from beyond the arc, finishing a +28 plus/minus. I’m liking this shot chart from Wiggins:
All of us on Wiggins Island have watched with glee as our guy has morphed from “Two-Way Wiggs”, to “All-Star Starter Wiggs”, to Doncic’s worst nightmare: PLAYOFF WIGGS.
Let me be perfectly clear: the Warriors have PLENTY of work to do in this series. All they did so far was protect home court in a series that I’m sure will be full of adjustments and tough moments. It is the Western Conference Finals after all.
But if all goes well…the next evolution I can dream of is Finals MVP Wiggs. Don’t just take my word for it; take me and Dr. Tom’s word for it! In last year’s season review for Wiggins we had this thought:
Daniel: We were two of the early settlers of Wiggins Island. From the day he was first traded to the Warriors, you and I have been very vocally supportive of his presence in the Golden State. Just ask Draymond Green’s trainer! I must say I'm proud of our investment.
Dr. Tom: I mean, this is just our victory lap, isn’t it?
Daniel: I mean I feel like the lap could have been a bit more enjoyable had he won Finals MVP this year, but we'll have to wait till next season for that.