Andrew Wiggins came up big during a crucial stretch early in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' 123-108 road win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night in which he took on the bulk of the scoring load while Steph Curry recuperated on the bench. He delivered when called upon, and generally has throughout his first full season with Golden State.
Wiggins was in danger of missing his first game of the season Monday night, but he toughed out a sore right knee to help deliver a much-needed win to the Warriors. With the victory, they moved four games clear of the Pelicans for the final play-in spot and leapfrogged the Memphis Grizzlies into eighth place in the Western Conference. With only seven games remaining on their regular-season schedule, it would take an epic collapse for the Warriors to miss out on the postseason.
That's certainly a welcome change to Wiggins, who has played in only five postseason games throughout his seven-year career. After languishing at or near the bottom of the West throughout his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves -- who still remain there -- Wiggins sounds more than pleased to be with the (likely) playoff-bound Warriors.
"It's a great fit," Wiggins said following Monday's victory. "I'm playing with Steph -- that's legendary in itself. Playing with Draymond [Green]. I'm excited to play with Klay [Thompson]. Just Warriors basketball. On and off the court, the organization, how they treat everybody, and the atmosphere is crazy. It's been nothing but love here and I enjoy it."
If the Warriors make it to and through the play-in round, they'll almost certainly be a major underdog to their next opponent, and an extended playoff run would come as a surprise. However, as Wiggins alluded to, Golden State's chances should be much better next season when Thompson joins the fold after missing all of this and last season due to injury.