We’re halfway through the 2014-15 NBA season and things haven’t gone exactly to plan. The Minnesota Timberwolves missed at least three starters for two months of the season and it’s helped them go from a promising start 4.5 games into the season to a 7-34 record at the halfway point. Granted, that record is mostly skewed because of the loss of Ricky Rubio (Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic’s absences hurt too), but you don’t get wins on a grading curve in the NBA.
Either you can win them or you can’t. And without Rubio, the Wolves’ defense has been a mess and the offense hasn’t been much better. However, there has been one constant beacon of hope on the horizon, showing the future seasons won’t be so bad.
Andrew Christian Wiggins has been a delight to watch grow and develop, even just half a season into his career. The NBA compiled a video of some Wiggins highlights from the first half of the season and it’s a nice reminder that the Wolves are bad but it doesn’t mean the season is lost. Developing Wiggins and the young guys has always been the primary goal, whether it was creating an environment of competition for them to earn minutes or throwing them into the pool and seeing if they could figure out how not to drown. The Wolves’ development plan has had to change because of injuries, but it’s still all about development.
So far, Wiggins is averaging 15.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals in 33.1 minutes. He’s made 42.8% of his shots and 38.0% of his 3-point attempts. While the defense has been exposed for rookie unawareness at times, overall it’s been an impressive display of him wanting to defend the best scorer on the other team. There are more analysis and highlights at a later time, but for now, the video above is pretty cool.