City Sports Report

Andrew Wiggins Is Finding His Rhythm

Andrew Wiggins has rebounded from a slow start early in the season (photo courtesy of www.bleacherreport.com)

Andrew Wiggins has been talked about for years by many basketball fans. The Canadian-born hoops phemon was compared by some to LeBron James and some were even thinking that he could be better than LeBron. But when he entered college at Kansas, it seemed like many began to cool on him some. People began to look how effortlessly he jumped and how he made some things look so easy. Well, that easiness with how he did things began to make some feel like he was not trying his best. And then the questions began to pile in from him potentially being overhyped to could he actually be anything but just an athlete in the NBA. There were even talks about him losing out on being the 1st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft to his college teammate, center Joel Embiid, or Duke freshman star Jabari Parker. But in the end, he was chosen 1st overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He would play uneven in Summer League basketball and then he was eventually sent to Minnesota Timberwolves (along with fellow Canadian and number one overall pick Anthony Bennett) for the services of power forward Kevin Love. Some think the Cavaliers made the right decision. And at the beginning of the year, Wiggins was not proving them wrong with his inconsistent offensive play. But as of recent, he has started to show signs that he could live up to the promise that was bestowed upon him in high school.

We all knew that Wiggins was a great athlete. The son of former NBA player Mitch Wiggins, Andrew had the athletic genes naturally passed on to him. So it was no surprise that Wiggins could do some of the things he does on the court. And when you have him and fellow rookie Zach Levine, there are plenty of highlight dunks that can happen. But what has surprised some so far this season is the midrange jumper that Wiggins is showing. With an increased role as the season has gone on, Wiggins has been able to show more of what he has been working on. The midrange game is something that many young players never seem to develop in today’s NBA. But you can tell that Wiggins has put in work on that part of his game. Sometimes when guys can jump as high as Wiggins, the biggest issue can be when to release the basketball. Some never actually figure that one out, but Wiggins has seemed to have got a handle on it. Combine that with a smooth shooting stroke and Wiggins has made it happen with his midrange game.

But this is not the only change, or growth that has happened during the season for Wiggins. Besides the more polished stroke, Wiggins has now started to make more plays with the basketball. Many wondered how Wiggins would handle having the offense ran through him at times so soon in his career. At the beginning of the season, he was not getting the looks and the chance to make some things happened. And that may have forced him to do too much too fast with the basketball. Wiggins had a negative assist-to-turnover ratio the first week of the season. But as the season has gone on, he has made more plays with the basketball (assists up to 3 a game from 1 assist per game his first month of the season). That tells me that he is being trusted a little more with the basketball and that he is also making better decisions. And it also tells me that the game is starting to slow down for Wiggins at the NBA level. But not only is he making plays for other players, but he is making plays for himself. He is now becoming proficient in the step-back jumper off the dribble and he also is getting better at attacking the rim off the dribble (still needs more work there but improving). The ability to handle the basketball a little bit more has allowed for him to get more chances to attack the rim and get to the free throw line, where he is shooting five per game (was at 2.5 attempts per game in his first month of the year).

The improved jump shot along with the improved handle along with the absence of guard Kevin Martin. has allowed for Wiggins to continue to get better with more time on the court. Wiggins scoring, rebound and passing stats have gotten better with each month. And with the Cavs struggles at times, some are wondering if they made the right decision. Well, the decision was made and Wiggins was shipped out, but Wiggins is probably looking better than anyone expected he would so early in his career. And as he continues to get more experience, he will become better and better. Wiggins is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the NBA and there is no doubt that he still has more to learn. But with him averaging 21 points per game this month so far, he is learning at a rapid rate. And that could be scary for the rest of the NBA.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

4 Comments

  1. DC Hendrix

    January 24, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Quality material man. Man is gonna be a stud!

  2. ASR

    January 24, 2015 at 5:06 am

    Good article, he’s young but he should have a productive career.

  3. Jason

    January 24, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    I have been watching Minnesota just because of him. I think his game is closer to Kobe Bryants but that’s just me. I think he’s going to be more than just a good player in the NBA if he continues to work hard like he has been. Good article Mike!

  4. Rob Thomas Brown

    January 24, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Good article Mike. As a Cavs fan, I liked him as the #1 pick and hated to see him go.It was the right move for the Cavs. It helps to have Mo Williams there with him, he knows what it’s like for a young star in the NBA considering he played with Lebron. Good for him and best wishes on his career

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