According to recent reports, the Golden State Warriors are nearing the return of Andrew Wiggins, their second-best player in last year’s NBA Finals, after he missed 22 consecutive games due to a family matter. ESPN’s Stephen A Smith believes that with Wiggins back in the lineup, the Warriors could make their fifth NBA Finals appearance in nine seasons.
I see no reason the Warriors can’t go back to the Finals with Andrew Wiggins back in the mix pic.twitter.com/zwTskCZro0
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) April 4, 2023
Stephen A Smith optimistic about Golden State Warriors’ playoff chances with Andrew Wiggins back in lineup
Smith acknowledged that the Western Conference has been unpredictable this season, with any team from the No. 4 to No. 12 seed having a chance to make a deep playoff run. The Denver Nuggets have been in first place since December, but their recent performances have been inconsistent. The Memphis Grizzlies have a talented point guard in Ja Morant, who has returned to the line-up after missing time due to injury. The Sacramento Kings have exceeded expectations this season, and the Los Angeles Lakers have climbed up the standings in recent weeks.
Despite the challenges posed by these teams, Smith is optimistic about the Warriors’ chances. He noted that Golden State has a proven track record of success, with four championships and six NBA Finals appearances under their belt. With Stephen Curry leading the charge and Wiggins bringing additional scoring and defensive capabilities to the team, the Warriors have the potential to make a deep playoff run.
It is worth noting that Wiggins’ extended absence was due to his father’s serious medical situation, which understandably took priority over basketball. His return to the team is a positive development both for the Warriors and for Wiggins personally.
Overall, Smith’s prediction may be ambitious, but it is not unreasonable. The Warriors have shown that they are a resilient and talented team, and with Wiggins back in the lineup, they could be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs. Regardless of how the season ends for Golden State, Wiggins’ return is a reminder of the importance of family and the role it plays in the lives of professional athletes.
The Return of a Champion: Andrew Wiggins Set to Bolster Golden State Warriors’ Playoff Hopes
Andrew Wiggins is set to return to the Golden State Warriors this week after a personal leave of absence since mid-February. With only three games left in the regular season, Wiggins’ comeback is a massive boost for the team’s playoff aspirations. The high-usage starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Wiggins, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney is the NBA’s best, with an impressive net rating of 21.4.
Wiggins’ shooting and two-way ability make him an invaluable complement to the Warriors’ core trio of Curry, Thompson, and Green. His return will also give head coach Steve Kerr more lineup flexibility and depth, as the team lost Otto Porter Jr. before the season, and Andre Iguodala has been injured for most of it.
However, there are concerns over Wiggins’ conditioning and whether he can quickly adapt to high-stakes basketball after missing much of the season. Nonetheless, if Wiggins can return to his championship-winning form, the Warriors will be a formidable contender in the Western Conference playoffs.