National Basketball Association

Wiggins, Looney adding surprise contributions for Warriors

May 23

Andrew Wiggins hadn't pulled off something like this since his Huntington Prep days.

At least that's how a large portion of the Twitterverse saw it, after the 27-year-old elevated and detonated on Luka Dončić for one of the most memorable slam-jams in recent basketball memory.

It's been a while since Wiggins has showed his current form. He is currently averaging 20.7 points against the Mavericks in the Western Conference finals, after posting 14.9 postseason points per game prior to this series (he averaged 17.2 PPG during the regular season). 

And with that, his uptick in scoring generally yields positive results for his team. The Warriors are now 16-4 this season when Wiggins scores over 20 points, and sit at 46-4 when he boasts a positive plus-minus.

On Sunday, Wiggins went off for 27 points on Dallas, and added 11 rebounds to boot.

During the postseason, he's improved upon several metrics from the regular season, including his PER (15 to 16.2), rebound percentage (7.6 to 11.8) and offensive rating (109 to 115).

"Wiggs was unbelievable," Steph Curry said after Golden State's 109-100 Game 3 victory. " … He just finds ways to impact winning. He's figured that out."

Kevon Looney seems to be on the same page as Wiggins. 

Another more unheralded starter, Looney generally provides G.S. with solid rebounding and decent post defense. But the 26-year-old vet is giving his troupe much more as of late, and it's undoubtedly helped their performance in the box score. 

Despite playing over 30 minutes just twice in the regular season, Looney's surpassed that number twice already in the postseason. And he's made good on Steve Kerr's trust in him. 

Looney currently leads the league in offensive rating in the playoffs (147), and he's the only player above a 135 in that category. He's third in the NBA in win shares per 48 minutes, at .225. He also leads the NBA in rebound percentage (20.7%), the only player remaining in the postseason above 20. 

Nick Wright even opined that Looney's play thus far has surpassed that of some of his more renowned counterparts, including Rudy Gobert and Deandre Ayton.

"Game 2 was the pivotal point," he said Monday on "First Things First."

"Kevon Looney has killed them on the offensive glass and scored efficiently."

In addition, Wiggins' play is forcing Wright to walk back his initial criticisms of the trade that brought him to G.S. 

"This is a guy that I've been critical of," Wright reflected. "I said the trade was going to prevent them from making another NBA Finals, because I thought the trade was so dumb, and now I look so dumb. He's been efficient on offense, a bulldog on defense, and dunked on Luka's head. Looney and Wiggins averaging a combined 35, 17 and 7 on a combined 60-something percent shooting — the Mavs have no answer for it. They're dominating their roles." 

But Chris Broussard wouldn't let Wright get away from his past wrongs that easy.

Wiggins and Looney's contributions have catapulted the Warriors from dangerous to near infallible. 

And now, they are merely one game away from their sixth NBA Finals appearance in eight seasons. 


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