Warriors

What Kerr believes is causing Wiggins' offensive decline

Warriors
Warriors' Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins remained an effective 1-on-1 defender for the Warriors in February, forcing his opponents to shoot 4.2 percentage points worse from the field (42.4 percent) than when they weren't guarded by him.

Wiggins didn't enjoy the same success on offense, shooting just 44.9 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from behind the 3-point line in 16 games last month and averaging 2.3 turnovers per game despite a marginal increase in usage rate. Kelly Oubre Jr. surpassed Wiggins as Golden State's second scoring option, averaging 20.1 points per game compared to Wiggins' 16.1.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr wasn't concerned about Wiggins' dip in offensive production Tuesday, telling reporters he believes the 25-year-old simply has hit a wall like many of his peers.

"I think this just may be fatigue," Kerr said Tuesday in a video conference. "I think everybody is a little worn down right now. This is typical just before the All-Star break for guys to, maybe, wane a little bit and I think you'll see Andrew's play come back up pretty soon."

Wiggins has played in each of the Warriors' 35 games this season, averaging just over 32 minutes and playing no fewer than 21 in a single contest. Golden State played 35 games in a 69-day span to open the 2020-21 regular season, a result of the NBA aiming for a somewhat normal calendar after the 2020 NBA Finals ended Oct. 11.

For reference, Wiggins' Minnesota Timberwolves played their first 35 games in a 75-day span last season. The Warriors, conversely, again played 35 games over a span of 69 days. 

 
RELATED: Lee cites Giannis discussing Wiseman's path to stardom

After the Warriors conclude their first-half schedule Thursday against the resurgent Phoenix Suns, Golden State won't play again until March 11, giving the team their longest stretch of the season between games. Kerr expects Wiggins will bounce back following the time off, and the coach can take solace in how Wiggins has historically performed after All-Star breaks.

Wiggins' career shooting splits are better following the break than they are before, as is his scoring average (20.3 points per game vs. 19.2). This season, played amid a pandemic, has been unlike any in recent memory, but Wiggins' play after the break will need to be an exception if the Warriors are going to move up the Western Conference standings.

Download and subscribe to the Dubs Talk Podcast