Andrew Wiggins is back in the Bay Area, but he won’t be back on the court before the season ends.
"[Andrew Wiggins] is not going to play in these final two games of the regular season. He’ll continue to work and ramp it up pretty quickly."— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) April 6, 2023
- Steve Kerr on @WillardAndDibs
If you’ve been following the Golden State Warriors’ injuries for the past few years, you know that the team loves to talk about ramping up! Wiggins said his conditioning was “not terrible,” and it was good enough that he participated in a 5-on-5 scrimmage Wednesday,
Andrew Wiggins on his conditioning: "Not terrible. I've been working out. ... I don't think it will be too long before I'm back."— Dalton Johnson (@DaltonJ_Johnson) April 5, 2023
This means the Warriors are planning to continue to be patient with Wiggins, much as they did during his long absence from the team to deal with his father’s medical situation. It’s a lot to ask for Wiggins to jump right back into game action for the final two days, but also, Klay Thompson’s back soreness isn’t expected to keep him out for the road games in Sacramento and Portland.
Kerr says Thompson’s back flared up unexpectedly during their pregame walk through. Kerr doesn’t think it will keep him out of either remaining game. Tonight was more precautionary, plus they have two days before their next game. https://t.co/gZHRQbJyUR— Kendra Andrews (@kendra__andrews) April 5, 2023
Plus, getting away from the cursed injury energy of the Portland Trail Blazers has allowed Gary Payton II to return to his usual defending and dunking self. This is not to disparage the Blazers’ medical staff - Blazers’ knees, ankles, and feet have been doomed since the days of Sam Bowie and Bill Walton.
It would be a lot easier for Wiggins and the Warriors if they simply win their final two games and clinch a playoff spot. If the Warriors fall to 7th or 8th place, they play April 11th. If they get to 5th or 6th place, they don’t play until April 15th. You don’t need an analytics department to know that’s four extra days of ramping up.
And while the Warriors managed to stay afloat, going 13-10 with Wiggins gone, they go from being a legitimate title contender with him on the floor to being, well, worried about a play-in berth without him. Of all five-man lineups that have played over 300 minutes together, the Curry-Thompson-Wiggins-Green-Looney group has the best offensive rating, defensive rating, and net rating in the league.
The Warriors have only won 9 games on the road all season but @DarthAmin explains how the return of Andrew Wiggins makes them a serious threat to win the West: The lineup of Steph, Klay, Wiggins, Draymond and Looney ranks No. 1 in offense, defense, net rating and more... pic.twitter.com/JZ5dSCxm4g— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) April 5, 2023
The Warriors won’t have Maple Jordan back for the regular season. But getting him back for the playoffs means no one wants to play them in the first round. Especially after he ramps up.