The team in San Francisco is back at the top of the NBA. The Warriors’ red-hot league-best 20-4 start has been one of the best stories early on.
Stephen Curry has been the runaway MVP frontrunner while Draymond Green is making a strong case for DPOY and Jordan Poole’s big jump has him among the candidates for MIP.
Although Andrew Wiggins is not a favourite on any end-of-season awards, he’s an invaluable member of the Warriors’ engine and some of the advanced numbers agree.
Recently, however, the Canadian wing has been making the news and trending only for a certain specific part of his game. Rapper J. Cole, the most recent guest on NBA HooperVision, spilled the beans and gave props to Wiggins.
“I was a big Penny Hardaway fan,” J. Cole said talking about which former player influenced his game the most. “Obviously, I’ve been watching him as a kid but I still go back and watch his highlights all the time.”
“Finally, that move, the spin and the stepback.”
As Cole describes the move, both hosts Quentin Richardson and Jamal Crawford interject by saying “That Wiggins did/doing.”
“I remember for years, watching that highlight and being in college and just going back like this move is an ‘alien move’.”
That’s high praise for Wiggins coming from a veteran duo like Richardson and Crawford, and Cole, who is a bit of a baller himself.
Along with the resurgence of the team, Wiggins is arguably enjoying his best individual season from an efficiency and impact standpoint.
Embracing and maximising the 3-and-D role with the Warriors, he’s averaging a career-high 2.2 3-pointers per game and making them at a career-high efficiency of 41.6 percent this season. In 108 games for the Warriors, he’s knocked down an average of two 3-pointers per game at a clip of 38.4 percent – a huge jump from his near six full seasons in Minnesota of 1.2 3-pointers at an efficiency of 33.2 percent.
His growth and all-round development into this role is helping the Warriors. Their net rating with him on the floor is 11.7 only trails Stephen Curry and Draymond Green among players playing heavy minutes.
So, Wiggins might not have made J. Cole’s ‘players to follow’ list but he’s certainly caught his eye.