The Golden State Warriors may not have small forward Andrew Wiggins at 100% in a must-win Game 6 against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, but he is going to play. According to a report by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, he will play. Wiggins suffered a left costal cartilage fracture during Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Wednesday and has been hoping to stay available.
Obviously, the Warriors will need to lean on some alternative strategies to slow down Lakers star LeBron James if Wiggins is heavily limited. Wiggins is dealing with a comparable injury to what Kevon Looney dealt with during the 2019 postseason. However, Looney had a much more limited role. He pointed out that he’s unsure if he would have been able to play through the injury if he was asked to shoot as much as Wiggins.
Andrew Wiggins (expected to try to play tonight) will be guarding/absorbing hits from LeBron James. Kevon Looney discusses the challenge of protecting a rib injury while trying to remain physical. pic.twitter.com/1wJAWb2SUR— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 12, 2023
Wiggins was the Warriors’ second-most consistent contributor last season, en route to the NBA championship. While he missed a prolonged portion of the regular season, he still averaged 17.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game on .473/.396/.611 shooting. Wiggins was a key contributor in the Dubs Game 5 win, scoring 25 points on 10-for-18 shooting from the field with 7 rebounds and 5 assists.