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Wiggins joins pantheon of GSW All-Stars in win vs Minnesota Timberwolves
Wiggins Island is THE PLACE TO BE!
Midway through the third quarter of the Golden State Warriors punishing the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 124-115 victory in Chase Center, I began to wonder how historians determined the greatest heists in world history.
There was the 2003 Antwerp Diamond Heist in Belgium where thieves pilfered “$100 million worth of gold, diamonds, jewels, and other valuables from one of the most advanced vaults in the entire world.” And there was the 1972 United California Bank Burglary in California where robbers “reportedly received a tip from Jimmy Hoffa that Richard Nixon was storing $9 million in dirty campaign money in a bank in Laguna Niguel, California.”
And now after Andrew Wiggins was named as a 2022 All-Star starter I think it’s time to add the 2020 Andrew Wiggins + Future First Round Pick that-became-Jonathan Kuminga trade for D’Angelo Russell in Minnesota to the most nefarious capers list.
Shout out to those who saw this coming. Not everybody did.
Hahaha oh how I love basketball prognostication. I was one of the earliest settlers on Wiggins Island West:
Check out DNHQ’s most liked article ever where Duby Dub Dubs first began to see the light.
Wiggins Islands visas were doubled down on by Thomas “Dr. Tom” Bevilacqua in our vidcast with a news reporter/Timberwolves expert in the immediate aftermath of the trade.
And we tripled-down in chatting with Draymond Green’s trainer where we roundly talked about what a great addition Wiggins was to the team.
AND WE QUADRUPLED DOWN IN THE SEASON REVIEW FOR DNHQ LAST SUMMER:
Pardon us: Dr. Tom and I just threw both shoulders out of socket while patting ourselves on the back. But Wiggins’ All-Star recognition is extra special because it is yet another example of the power of Golden State’s winning culture, fueled by the Core 3’s leadership and coach Steve Kerr’s brilliant philosophy.
Never doubt the power of Dub Nation; this isn’t the first time they pushed one of their franchise’s reclamation projects into the national spotlight (i.e. the We Believe team).
But all that is irrelevant if the team isn’t winning, and the Dubs got another win over a team over .500 last night against Minnesota. Well, they WERE over .500 until GSW knocked them back down to a 24-24 record bahahaha.
Warriors trap KAT in 3rd quarter domination
The Dubs had their offense clicking early but were trailing at halftime in this game 61-57. That’s mainly because Karl-Anthony Towns was the boogie man that every Warrior fan had worried about this offseason when the team didn’t add big man depth behind Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, and James Wiseman. Both Green and Wiseman missed this game with injury (well Dray was actually still working this game as the first ever reporter/player for TNT).
GOSH HE’S SO ARROGANT DON’T YOU JUST HATE IT.
But while Green was working on broadcasting, Big KAT was working GSW’s defense like a part-time job. Looney picked up his fourth foul as Towns created contact in the waning seconds of the second quarter, effectively leaving the Dubs with no one who could lock up the 6-foot-11, 250 pound phenom.
With those daunting odds in play, somehow the Warriors still erupted for a 38-20 third quarter run to effectively take the reins of the game. Third quarter domination is nothing new for GSW; they built a dynasty off of them. But to do it against a red-hot KAT with very little center depth demonstrated the wisdom of Kerr’s coaching staff and the swarm that is Strength in Numbers.
Check out Towns trying to bully his way through Looney and activating a TRIPLE-TEAM as Wiggins and Klay Thompson clamp down on him in tandem. Towns throws it out to Russell, a marksman and a guy who once put up huge buckets for the Warriors. Thompson never got to play with him during those past scoring binges, but he made sure there would be no easy jumpshot on this possession by closing out and forcing an errant three-pointer.
In the next clip here’s KAT throwing up garbage early in the shot clock 22-feet from the basket. I’m no basketball genius but I’d presume it’s because his internal clock is sped up and he’ll take the first, quickest shot he can before Golden State’s other defenders close in on him like Skynet.
For the next highlight, check how the Warriors defend KAT rolling to the rim after a pick, gathering a head of steam. Gary Payton II teleports from the corner to free throw circle to impede Towns’ progress. Jordan Poole brazenly abandons his corner as well to form a blockade with GP2. Curry giddily lurks in the passing lane which GP2 just vacated while Nemanja Bjelica shadows KAT in case he tries to bully his way to the rim.
KAT sees he’s in Alcatraz and rapidly swings the pass out to the wing. Bjelica whirls from Towns and contests the shot. Malik Beasley, a 34% three-point shooter, bricks the attempt.
GSW is off to the races the other way, leading to this ridiculous bomb from the Unanimous One.
How demoralizing must it have been for Wolves fans to watch their #1 option get choked out while Curry casually hits max degree of difficulty trick shots to balloon the lead?
Not just star power; ALL-STAR POWER
Curry finished with 29 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals, all team highs (GP2 also snagged 8 boards). But he did his scoring in a way that actually gives his teammates a variety of ways to score. When the Timberwolves dump it to KAT and he gets double-teamed, their response is to try and nail a three-pointer before the defense can rotate.
And while we’ve seen teams win championships that way, it’s fairly predictable and as we saw last night a long and quick defense can eventually figure out the rhythm and stop that noise with tethered rotations.
Meanwhile the Warriors offense seems predictable on face value too: just a bunch of guys passing it around right? Until you realize they have world-class shooting, screening, and endurance that pushes any defense to the limits of human abilities. Here’s a string of tweets underscoring this:
That’s why I figured Wiggins would fit well with this team. They needed someone to help replace the void Kevin Durant left; but we also saw this team win with this blueprint with Harrison Barnes. An athletic wing who can knock down open shots, play stingy and alert defense, while finishing at the rim with force will always have a spot next to the Splash Bros and Draymond Green.
Those are three champions, three All-NBA players, three guys who have spent several Februarys at All-Star games. The style of basketball they play makes players around them better! Wiggins being an All-Star starter is proof of that.
And it’s also a scary reminder that this team has craaazy starpower when healthy. Curry was damn near voted as All-Star captain in a year where folks were saying he’s declining!
I’d bet Green will be voted as an All-Star reserve despite his injury, and Thompson is rounding into his dominant form. But what about the next generation of possible Warriors All-Stars? Jordan Poole scored 19 points and 5 assists in 24 minutes off of the bench, making former teammate D’Angelo Russell (8 points on 10 shots) look like the inferior player by comparison.
And don’t forget Kuminga who the Warriors are already entrusting to bring the ball up the court to initiate the offense. When the rookie casually trotted up the court with the ball and his teammates jetted to various spots on the floor, my heart fluttered. What manner of hell were they about to unleash on the poor unsuspecting Timberwolves? As DNHQ buddy Joe Viray will tell you, it was this manner:
Maybe next year the entire starting five of the Warriors will be All-Star starters?? Okay I gotta get outta here and head to work, y’all have a great weekend!