The Golden State Warriors are coming off of a very hard-fought seven-game series against the Sacramento Kings. While the Warriors came into the series slightly favored, it took everything they had to close out the series. In game seven, Stephen Curry had a 50-point performance that set the NBA record for most points scored in a game seven.
It is expected that Steph will show up in his fifth playoff matchup against LeBron James. Curry currently holds a 3-1 over the King in the series that they have faced off. Currently, Golden State is favored to once again end James’s season, however, when they are playing at their best, the Lakers are one of the toughest teams in the league to beat.
There is one player on Golden State’s roster that will have to step up and have an elite series if they hope to advance to the Western Conference Finals. That player is Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins was one of the most talked about players through the regular season after he took an unannounced hiatus away from the team while they were struggling to stay out of the play-in tournament. It would later come out that he was spending time with his father who was fighting a disease. He would only go on to play 37 games through the regular season where he averaged 17.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 47.3% from the field and 39.6% from three.
Since the playoffs have begun, Wiggins has been a big contributor for the Warriors. In their series against the Kings, he averaged 18.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 46.3% from the field and 27.0% from three.
In their round two matchup against the Lakers, Wiggins will most likely be given the tall task of guarding LeBron James. If his defensive effort in the first round is any indicator, Wiggins will be up for the challenge, however, guarding James is an entirely different beast. If he is able to limit LeBron’s effect on the game and continue to force turnovers, it may be enough for the Warriors to clinch the series. However, they may also need a bit more from him on the offensive end.
In round one, Wiggins had a rough series on offense. While he averaged a very respectable amount of points, it was not done in an efficient way. This will likely be a series where every possession matters, and as a result of this, Wiggins will have to be hitting his shots. If he is able to combine his defense from round one with his shooting splits from the regular season, he will be the player that makes the difference in this series.
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