BOSTON ( Associated Press) — Andrew Wiggins’ critics have always focused on what they think he’s not.
He said his lack of determination did not mean that he was the first selector in the draft. He argued that he was not good enough to start the All-Star Game.
But with another win from the Golden State Warriors, the only thing that matters is what Wiggins would have achieved: an NBA title.
“He’s shining at the most important stage, season after season. You can see how much he’s enjoying it,” teammate Stephen Curry said on Wednesday. “It’s amazing to see things work in his favor in terms of taking away the story around him and he is in front of everyone’s eyes as a basketball player.”
The Warriors took two straight wins to go 3-2 ahead of Game 6 on Thursday. Wiggins has been part of the cause. The Canada forward had 17 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in Game 4.
In fifth, he followed that performance with 26 points and 13 boards.
Only once did Wiggins post back-to-back double-doubles in his career before doing so in the biggest games of his career.
“It’s always amazing to be able to show what you can do, what work you’ve done,” Wiggins said. So I am happy to be here on the biggest stage and help the team win.
Even those dismissing Wiggins had to admit that he could score. The first pick averaged 16.9 points in the 2014 draft to be considered Rookie of the Year and never dropped below 17 points per game again.
But their numbers rarely translate into victories. Minnesota only made the playoffs once when it was with the team and it was easy to wonder what else Wiggins’ game offered other than points.
Apparently too many.
Drummond Green said, “We have accepted every challenge they have posed, and this is important.” “And we need to do that for another victory.”
Disbelief at what Wiggins could do followed him before coming to the NBA, when he scored just four points in his last collegiate game.
But Green said Tom Thibodeau, the current Knicks coach who guided the Timberwolves to their only postseason appearance under Wiggins, assured him the Warriors would love how hard Wiggins defends and competes.
Curry will probably be the Finals MVP if the Warriors win the series, but Wiggins at least made it a buzzword and not a fact.