The explosion definitive? by Andrew Wiggins, the late Minnesota star Timberwolves | Spain


Upon entering the 2019-2020 season, one of the players who looked the most was Andrew Wiggins The No. 1 Draft 2014 came to this campaign after five courses where he was not close to becoming that star that everyone saw in him, where inefficiency and monotony marked the pulse of his game. Many, even, "gave up" on the Canadian, thought he would never jump to the next level. But nevertheless, Friday night confirms that we can face its explosion in the league.

More | Wiggins deactivates the 52 points of D'Angelo Russell and Minnesota defeats Golden State

Wiggins was the great name of a true great game, commanding a Minnesota Timberwolves triumph 125-119 against Golden State Warriors, in the extension. Yes, it is true that D'Angelo Russell scored 52 points for visitors. But the Canadian was worth a lot more and it was not little: 40 points (17-33 field, 2-7 triples, 4-8 free), 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks in 45 sensational minutes for the joy of the team where it is assistant the Argentine Pablo Prigioni.

The best thing about the escort was his presence in the hottest moment of the match, because without a doubt he put the team on his shoulder, with personality, resources and contribution on both sides of the field. ¿Examples? Too much, since we talked about someone who scored three shots in clutch situations in the match, with two of them decisive: a fulminant penetration to match the meeting and bring it to that extension, and a triple to almost define the story 23 seconds after the close. He scored 18 of his 40 points between the fourth quarter and extra time.

Chance? Not at all. Minnesota had clutch situations (5 or less points of difference within 5 minutes of the final) in three games this season, won all and Wiggins was killer:

  • Sum 26 points in the clutch, with a great 7-11 in two shots, 3-5 in triples and 3-4 in free.
  • Of the players who took at least 15 pitches in the clutch this season, Wiggins is the most efficient (62.5% field). The next, Zach LaVine, 'barely' reaches 46.7%.

And here we find a first part to understand its improvement. Wiggins was always called an inefficient scorer. How did it go in clutch situations last season? To say that evil is little:

  • 32 points in 37 games (Yes, in three of the current campaign you have almost as much as in the past)
  • 10-44 in field shots, a horrible 22.7%.
  • 1-18 in triples
  • 11-27 in free.

Looking at the shooting cards (to the left the current one, to the right the one of the last course) in the clutch, perhaps, we begin to understand a little its change and evolution …

The evolution in its efficiency

Being a great scorer is not close to being a matter of volume. One can take an excessive amount of pitches and, at the end of the day, will encounter a decent amount of points. But the good ones, of course, are the ones who score effectively. That, precisely, was not a quality of Wiggins, a player who barely passes 44% in field shots in his career and who in 2018-2019 had a very low 41.2% on his way to the average of 18.1 points.

Efficiency usually comes when the player matures in terms of decision making and shot selection. Again, a section where the Canadian was not particularly known for good feelings. Although, of course, this beginning of the season shows its evolution from a fundamental aspect: more insights, better options to define near the hoop in high percentage shots. Although the current sample is small, the change is significant, since it almost doubles its number of penetrations per encounter.

Andrew Wiggins in penetrations
SeasonPenetrations per gamePoints after penetrations% fieldPoints in the paint

The 24-year-old was not even close to being among the best in the competition in these sections. Everything seems to have changed in this course: 14th with more penetrations, 6th with more points scored by these actions and 9th in the entire NBA in points in the paint per game, with the detail that only Luka Doncic scores more than him in that area between the perimeter (the rest are all interior).

You can see a Wiggins that came out a bit of those bad medium-distance pitches that marked him in these years, to move on to a player who seems to understand that stepping back for a triple or, above all, reaching the hoop taking advantage Their very good athletic ability, are keys to success.

The Canadian went from taking just over 38% of his launches in the restricted zone during 2018-2019, to almost 47% this season. That, without a doubt, is key to having it today with the best career averages in points (24.6) and field effectiveness (46.1%), well above the career averages (19.5 and 44.1%, respectively).

If we take as reference the last four meetings, two of them without Karl-Anthony Towns (penalty), the Wiggins tights rose to 29.0 goals (49.5% field, 41.9% triple in almost 8 attempts), 3.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.8 blocks in 34.0 minutes. Elite production

Evolution as a pin?

Another common criticism in Wiggins was that, in addition to being inefficient, did not contribute in other sections of his game as the generation of opportunities for the rest. In fact in 55 of its 408 regular phase games ended without giving an assist, just over 13%. It seems little, but for someone with such talent and in the current NBA of versatility in all positions, it is too much (especially being perimeter).

But, again, this 2019-2020 seems to show a change. He finished the game against the Warriors with his best record of assists of the season: 7. Moreover, he created 15 potential assists during the meeting. And a part of the "secret" may be in a greater will to do so. We had said that it is being his campaign with more penetrations. Well, in those 15.6 per game averages 4.4 passes, a figure much higher than its best historical mark (2.4). Scott Rafferty explained this improvement in detail in his "One Possession" section in NBA Canada. its 2.9 attendance average per game In 2019-2020 it would be the best of his life.

Again: the sample is small, just 8 matches. But we are probably seeing the best Andrew Wiggins since he came to the NBA. "I feel good, I worked a lot in the summer, I put a lot of effort. It feels good to be back", he said after his brilliant task before Golden State. A match where he seems to have ratified that he is on his way to his long delayed explosion in the NBA.

The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its organizations.

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