Hmmmm…. where do you start a blow job blog that you had convinced yourself you’d never get on your knees for write? How do you unlock parts of your mind, that you threw away the key to, a long time ago? How do you turn dreams, that had turned to the darkest of nightmares, back to the wet dreams that hinged on one 6-8, newly well-groomed, previously forgotten piece of talent, that once had your beloved Timberwolves making legitimate playoff appearences…….? I guess, you can just start by letting the man, the myth, the soon-to-be legend(?), Andrew Wiggins do the talking himself. Which game do you want me to pick? Make sure you take a look at the statline that’s posted at the top of each video.
I mean…. I’ve never been this happy to prepare crow before. I want to eat every negative word I’ve ever spit out about Andrew Wiggins, more than the Little Caesars I just dominated for lunch. I LOVE THE TIMBERWOLVES. I feel like I have to proclaim that far too often…
There are so many things that are better about Andrew Wiggins’ game this year, it’s hard to pick a spot to start. An obvious change in mentality is probably the stem of everything. Tom Thibodeau wasn’t the guy for Andrew. In hindsight, that’s obvious. But, Ryan Saunders has been around for a long time and he’s never been able to reach Andrew Wiggins like this. Something seems to have clicked. This new love that’s been found inside of the Timberwolves locker room seems to have made a much more aggressive Andrew on the floor.
Maybe we should have started with his confidence but it’s really a “chicken or egg” argument between that and his new mentality. Wiggins is playing with confidence and aggressiveness I haven’t seen since his first couple of seasons in the league. That confidence is clearly easier to build in the environment that Rosas & Co. have instilled, than in any environment he’s been in previously, it seems to be exponentially festering and growing because of this new system on the court, too.
He’s taking better shots and he’s making better decisions. But again, those shots and that decision-making come from focus, confidence, and the aggressiveness that he is playing with.
I went through Twitter and found some highlights from last night that show exactly what I am talking about. It started from the beginning of the game. Wiggins got lined up on a much smaller Bryn Forbes (6-2, 190 lbs) and the Wolves were clearly ready for the matchup. Wiggins went to work immediately. This was a matchup that the Wolves took advantage of all night long. It’s smart basketball and Wiggins’ aggressiveness is almost eye-opening, if you’ve been watching him for the last 3 seasons:
Another big problem with Andrew Wiggins, in the past, was his inability to see shooters or open slashers when he had the ball. Recently, we are finding out that his perriphials indeed work… really well.
NBA Scout, Brian Oringher, sent me a great YouTube video this morning (embedded below – subscribe to his YouTube channel – it’s worth it) that he made, on what has lead to this new and improved Andrew Wiggins and he focuses a lot on Wiggins’ new eye for hitting open teammates, but you can see it at work right here, too. Wiggs probably finishes this himself easily… but why not rack up an easy assist and get another teammate going, for an even easier basket?
As I said earlier, you CANNOT deny the impact that this new Rosas + Saunders regime has had on Wiggins game, either. A perfect example, is this basket from Andrew in the 2nd half. This new offensive scheme is all about spacing and reacting to what the defense gives you. That allows Wiggins to play to his strength, and when he sees an opening, to hit it hard.
When the ball is coming up the floor, on this highlight below, find all 5 Wolves. Nobody’s sneakers touch any wood inside of the 3-point line until Andrew Wiggins steps on it, with the ball in hand, after an absolutely disgusting screen from Gorgui Dieng (that I’m 97.2% sure actually took the soul of Lonny Walker). From there, the talent, instinct, and newly found will to get to the rim, took over. There’s nothing impeding one of the best athletes in the NBA from getting to the basket when he wants it like Wiggins does right now… I just can’t believe I’m typing sentences like this.
The last thing I’m going to touch on with video from last night, is Andrew Wiggins shot confidence right now. This guy is knocking down 3’s at a 40%+ clip over his last 7 games and when a guy can hit with accuracy like that while also getting to the basket, like we just talked about Wiggins doing in the last highlight, he becomes impossible to guard. Weird, it’s a lot easier to knock down an open or slightly contested 3, than it is a 19 ft turnaround jumper, with a hand in your face.
But this clip shows his confidence, not necessarily shot selection. He’s probably guarded here… but fuck, this is the new Andrew and the new Andrew knocks down 3’s when he’s guarded apparently:
Obviously, an improved Andrew Wiggins article almost can’t be written without something on his defense. Once again, Andrew seems to have done the impossible, and he’s become a completely different player on that end of the floor too. For this, I’ll embed Brian’s video because he focuses on Wiggins’ defense at the end, where he points out just how much more mentally involved the former Kansas Jayhawks star has become. He is playing help where he should be helping and staying or getting back to his man in ways I’ve never seen from him. In general though, it again comes down to his mentality. He’s remaining mentally involved, even when others around the league might not. That’s putting him in better positions, both physically, for steals and defensive rebounds. It’s fun to watch…
Yes, the Minnesota Timberwolves are fun to watch. Andrew Wiggins isn’t frustrating to watch, either. Those two things usually go hand-in-hand.
Soon, I’ll start unlocking some of those deeply hidden away passages of my mind, where it wonders what the Timberwolves might be able to do with an always-ready and at his best, Andrew Wiggins. I’m not ready to go there yet… but, I NEVER thought I’d be giving blow job writing blogs to him about him either. So, anything is possible.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan
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