Andrew Wiggins has accomplished many things since joining the Golden State Warriors. He’s made an All-Star Game, posted the highest scoring efficiency of his career, and recently set a career high with eight made threes in a game.
But all of that pales in comparison to the defense he played against Jayson Tatum while helping lead the Warriors to a 4-2 NBA Finals win over the Boston Celtics. It was that performance, even more than starting in an All-Star game, that stamped the “star” label next to Wiggins’ name in so many people’s eyes.
Unfortunately Wiggins will not take the court when the Warriors and Celtics rematch on Saturday night. Wiggins will instead miss his third consecutive game with right adductor tightness.
Celtics will be without Al Horford and Robert Williams tomorrow vs Warriors, despite buzz about Williams’ nearing return. Both listed as out. Warriors without Andrew Wiggins. That leaves an important role for Jonathan Kuminga as a wing defender against Tatum/Brown.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 10, 2022
The Warriors don’t seem very concerned with Wiggins’ injury, so I’d guess that we’ll see him back on the court soon. It makes sense that they’ll slow play him in the mean time.
Still, it’s a little weird seeing Wiggins out. He’s been the most durable player in the NBA since joining the league, playing in more regular season games than anyone since the Cleveland Cavaliers took him with the No. 1 overall pick in 2014. Still, he has missed short bursts before, including a four-game absence last December.
Without Wiggins, the Warriors will have to be even more on their game to defeat the Celtics, who have been the best team in the NBA this year. Boston has the best record in the league, and a net rating miles above anyone else: they’re outscoring opponents by 10.5 points per 100 possessions (disregarding garbage time) ... that mark is 3.4 points higher than the second-place New Orleans Pelicans.
Wiggins’ defense in particular will be missed, as Boston sports the top offense in the league, scoring 4 more points per 100 possessions than the next-best team. At 121.7 points per 100 possessions, which is 5 more points than the Warriors offense was during the first Kevin Durant season.
Hopefully Wiggins can heal up soon and get back on the court for the Dubs.