Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins has been cleared to play in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. Warriors coach Steve Kerr commented on the Canadian Internationals’ return after his 10-week absence, stating that he looks great, feels good, and is ready to go. However, the team remains unclear on how much they can expect from him after two months off.
Kerr acknowledged the 33 years old’s natural athleticism and the fact that he doesn’t seem to fall out of shape or get tired easily. However, the coach also mentioned that the game may dictate how much Wiggins plays on Saturday. The team could opt for the status quo and continue to start Donte DiVincenzo, who started in all but one of Golden State’s final 25 regular-season games while the star forward was away.
Steve Kerr says he doesn’t know if Wiggins will be under a minutes restriction on Saturday. They’ll see how he feels heading into game day.
“On one hand, Wiggs is one of those guys who doesn’t seem to fall out of shape … on the other hand he hasn’t played in 10 weeks.”
— Kendra Andrews (@kendra__andrews) April 13, 2023
Wiggins played a critical role in the Warriors winning the NBA title last summer and was especially valuable in the NBA Finals, averaging 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds while spending heavy minutes defending Boston Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Warriors center Kevon Looney highlighted the 201 cm tall star’s importance on defense and rebounding, noting that he guards the other team’s best players and is one of the best at getting a bucket when the shot clock is getting low.
Despite being away from the team for several weeks, the GSW forward scored 24, 25, and 26 points while shooting over 50 percent from the floor in each of the three games he played against the Kings this season. As a 2021-22 All-Star, Wiggins averaged 17.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 37 games this season.
Kerr’s comments reflect the team’s confidence in Wiggins’ natural abilities and suggest that they will be cautious with his playing time, given his time away from the game. As the Warriors prepare to face the Kings in their playoff series, they will undoubtedly be looking to Wiggins to help lead them to another championship.
The Crucial Role of Andrew Wiggins: How the All-Star Forward is Key to Golden State Warriors’ Success
Andrew Wiggins is a vital player for the Golden State Warriors (GSW) and his return to the team after a 10-week absence is a huge boost for their playoff aspirations. He was an instrumental figure in GSW’s championship-winning campaign last year and was an All-Star starter as well. Wiggins is a complete player, contributing both on the offensive and defensive ends of the court.
On defense, the maple leaf countryman is a versatile player who can guard multiple positions, often tasked with guarding the opposing team’s best player. This makes him an invaluable asset for the Warriors, who have struggled with consistency on defense this season.
His ability to guard elite players was particularly evident in the NBA Finals last year, where he played a pivotal role in limiting the production of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Offensively, Wiggins is a dynamic scorer who can create his own shot and is an excellent finisher around the rim. His ability to score in clutch moments is a valuable asset for the Warriors, who have been searching for a reliable scoring option throughout the season.
With his return to the lineup, the Warriors will hope that Wiggins can help take some of the scoring burden off the shoulders of Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.
Overall, Wiggins is an indispensable player for the Warriors, and his return to the lineup comes at a crucial time. His versatility and all-around game make him a valuable asset, and the Warriors will be looking to him to help lead them on another deep playoff run.