Andrew Wiggins is improving as a finisher

Wiggins has been getting better and better since the start of the year.
Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Wiggins has been shooting worse at the rim this year than he did as a rookie. That was especially true early in the season, when Wiggins was actually a below-average finisher around the hoop, surprising given how efficient he was during his first year.

Everyone expected the 20-year-old Wiggins to get better in year two, but that part of his game hadn’t seemed to advance. Now, it’s changing.

Here’s some proof:

Wiggins is now shooting 61 percent at the rim on the season, still down from the 67 percent he was at a season ago but above league average. And most importantly, he’s trending in the right direction.

Wiggins still isn’t the NBA’s best slasher. He can get to the hoop, but he’s not the most careful dribbler and often doesn’t distribute when he’s in penetration. So, defenders have been guarding the shot and forgetting about the pass more often this season. That’s presumably helped bring his efficiency in the paint down. But the growing improvement is encouraging. 

Of course, the sample sizes are small enough that a few layups in transition can throw off the month-to-month numbers. We’ll just have to see where they are by the end of the year.