In his third year in the NBA, Andrew Wiggins is having his best season as a scorer, averaging 22 points per game, and has emerged as the Timberwolves’ go-to option on the perimeter.
Against the Suns on Tuesday night, Wiggins showed off that scoring acumen with a cold-blooded dagger through the hearts of Suns fans as time expired. Wiggins took the ball towards the baseline off the right wing and was forced into a difficult pull-up 19-footer by Phoenix’s P.J. Tucker, drilling the shot as the buzzer sounded to give Minnesota a 112-111 win.
Wiggins’ confidence was apparent in the way he rose up and drilled the shot, and after the game he told Fox Sports North that there was never a doubt that the shot was going in once it left his hand.
Coach Tom Thibodeau was impressed by Wiggins’ confidence to “take and make” the big shot, as well as his young team’s mental toughness to battle through a tough fourth quarter to pull out the win.
After a poor start to the season, the young Wolves are starting to hit their stride of late under Thibodeau, winning six of their last eight games. Despite trade rumors swirling around point guard Ricky Rubio, the Wolves are beginning to gel as a unit, led by Wiggins and Zach LaVine on the wing and Karl-Anthony Towns in the frontcourt.
Over the last eight games the Wolves have not only seen their offense improve (108.2 ORtg) but the defense has started to come around for Thibs’ bunch with a (105.7 DRtg). This recent improvement has pulled Minnesota out of the Western Conference’s cellar and back into the hunt for the eighth seed, 2.5 games behind Denver in the muddled bottom half of the West.