The nickname “Two-Way Wiggs” is catching on.
Andrew Wiggins carried a reputation for playing inconsistent defense during his five-plus seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves. But since joining the Warriors last season in a trade, Wiggins has been a revelation on defense.
Wiggins never averaged a block per game in any full season with the T-Wolves, but he’s averaging 1.4 in his 33 games with the Warriors since last season’s trade.
So, does Two-Way Wiggs prefer a slam dunk or a swat?
“Both can get the team going, the momentum,” Wiggins told Tim Roye in an interview that aired Wednesday on "Warriors Roundtable" on 95.7 The Game. “The block, I might say the block, just because it stops everything from flowing and it might lead to good offense for us.
“It’s just how I recover. Just the ability to get off the floor quick and use my instincts to anticipate when the ball’s going in the air.”
Wiggins has been able to take advantage of his 7-foot wingspan to become the Warriors’ best shot blocker, something that will become more important in the near future with the team’s two injured big men, rookie James Wiseman and veteran Kevon Looney, out for the foreseeable future.
Coach Steve Kerr often puts Wiggins on the opposition’s top wing scorer, but he has been able to hold his own against some of the league’s best.
“I wouldn’t change anything,” Wiggins said. “What we’re doing, it works, it’s proven. So just going to stay with it and keep asserting myself.”
Offensively, Wiggins is finding out how to play second fiddle for the first time in his career while Steph Curry lights up the scoreboard every night. Wiggins is averaging 17.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from beyond the arc.
It’s something of a career renaissance for Two-Way Wiggs, who will turn 26 later this month.
“It’s all positive energy here,” Wiggins said. “I love it.”