The Golden State Warriors won it all [again] last season to mark their fourth championship in the last seven years.
Stephen Curry delivered another brilliant Finals performance, this time against the Boston Celtics, with his typical distance shooting and desire to get his teammates involved in the flow of the offense. Although Curry had solidified his legacy, it couldn’t have been done without the contribution of Andrew Wiggins.
In that series against the Celtics, Wiggins made his case for Finals MVP by shutting down the opposing superstar in Jayson Tatum and being the team’s second-best scorer at 18.3 points a game. He even led the team in rebounding with an 8.8 average and blocks with 1.5, ahead of Draymond Green and Kevon Looney.
The 2014 first overall pick had himself a series that cemented his name into NBA history, but in their title defense season, a rematch with the Celtics at Chase Center will feature Wiggins on the bench due to a right adductor strain, according to head coach Steve Kerr.
It's a bird.— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 28, 2022
It's a plane.
It's Andrew Wiggins! pic.twitter.com/DCpMYWfLBT
Wiggins had missed the last two games resulting in losses for the Warriors, but before his absence, in a win against the Houston Rockets, the forward dropped 36 points in the 34 minutes played. He went 14-19 from the field while shooting 80 percent from three (8-10), showcasing his improvement as an offensive threat once more.
Klay Thompson, the usual Robin to Curry as Batman, has struggled to get to form this season, averaging 18.9 points on the lowest field goal percentage shooting of his career at 39.6 percent. However, Thompson has found his rhythm lately, scoring 20+ points in five of his last seven games. With Wiggins sitting out this primetime matchup, Thompson will have to carry just a little more weight to make up for that missing production.
In Tatum and Jaylen Brown‘s revenge tour, the duo is currently averaging over 25 points each and have led the Celtics’ best record in the NBA at 21-5. The Finals rematch is shaping up to be completely different than last season after the Celtics added another scoring talent in Malcolm Brogdon, and interim coach Joe Mazzulla has created a League-leading 119.9 offensive rating.
The Warriors will have to find some defensive answers to figure out against the Celtics, but Kerr is “hopeful” that two of his four-time champions will be able to suit up, in Green and Curry. Dub Nation will undoubtedly miss what Wiggins can bring to the table, being one of the best two-way players in the game, but there should be no doubt in an NBA fan’s mind that the dynamic Warriors can find a way to steal a victory.