With Wolves needing wins, Wiggins delivers
Welcome to the 2017-18 edition of the Timberpups Tracker. This year, we’re taking a different tact. With Minnesota having taken over a G League franchise in Iowa, and renaming it the Wolves, each Thursday we’ll either track the progress of the players who might be of help to the Timberwolves in the future or a current member of the Minnesota roster. We’ll also give updates on the other young players from the previous week.
This is the 16th edition of the 2017-18 Timberpups Tracker.
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Forward Andrew Wiggins
We checked in on Wiggins a few weeks back in this space, assessing his performance in the wake of the Jimmy Butler injury.
At the time, he had averaged 22.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in three games without Butler, while shooting 52.9 percent from the field. We hedged a bit then, unsure if Wiggins could sustain those figures during Butler's protracted absence.
A month later, we're officially all in on Wiggins.
Wiggins has averaged 21.4 points per game over his last 10, while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 45.0 percent from deep, all significant improvements on his numbers in the 62 games prior. He's done it all while helping the Wolves battle through a stretch of games that included eight straight matchups with playoff contenders.
After dropping three straight to the Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics the Wolves rattled off back-to-back wins over the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. The Houston Rockets brought the Wolves back to earth, but they responded with a huge win Tuesday over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Wiggins was on fire against the Clippers, scoring 27 points, showing supreme effort on defense and making 3-pointers all over the floor. He finished 4-for-5 from deep and 9-for-15 from the field overall, while going 5-for-5 from the free-throw line.
-- Karl-Anthony Townshas stepped up too. He had a huge game against the Clippers, scoring 30 points with 10 rebounds while going 10-for-19 from the field.
-- Amile Jefferson had one of his best games of the season Tuesday for the G League's Iowa Wolves, scoring 27 points and going 10-for-14 from the field.
-- Iowa Wolves teammate Anthony Brown hit five 3-pointers Tuesday on seven attempts, his most since Jan. 2.