Andrew Wiggins’ defense stole the spotlight on the final play of Sunday’s 106-105 Warriors victory over the Toronto Raptors. He forced a tough shot at the top of the key from Toronto’s top player, Pascal Siakam, which rimmed out and sealed the win for the Warriors.
Wiggins also shined against Kawhi Leonard in a revealing early-season two-game stretch against the Los Angeles Clippers last week.
The Warriors subreddit recently shared some interesting numbers that back up the narrative Wiggins is improving his defense this season.
It's a surprise to see 36-year-old LeBron James at the top of that chart, but there's another reason why he's one of the NBA's all-time greats. Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond are often regarded among the league's top defenders, while Caris Levert is making a name for himself with the Brooklyn Nets.
Wiggins has the size, wingspan and athletic ability to cover virtually any shooting guard or forward in the league. He has also earned the trust of coach Steve Kerr and often been given the team’s toughest defensive assignment.
“We now have someone we can put on the opposing team’s best player, whether it’s Pascal Siakam, LeBron [James], Kawhi, or Paul George,” Kerr said. “The ability to put Andrew on those types of players to use his size and athleticism, it’s really the key to our current roster construction.”
Without Klay Thompson’s length and presence, Wiggins’ defensive development is even more crucial. Pairing him with another rangy wing like Kelly Oubre Jr. can present major problems for the opposition.