It hasn’t been the easiest season for Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins to say the least. The breakout star of the 2022 playoffs for his stifling perimeter defense and timely shot-making, many expected Wiggins to continue making the jump, especially after earning a four-year, $109 million contract extension from the Dubs. However, a plethora of injury woes and personal problems have kept the burgeoning wing from taking the next step in his career.
That has not been the case for the tight-lipped defending champions. We still have no idea why the All-Star forward has been sidelined since last suiting up Feb. 13 against the Washington Wizards.
What we do know is that Golden State needs his two-way ability on the court if the team is going to repeat as NBA champion. While that plays second fiddle to what Wiggins is dealing with off the court, it’s been a central focus as the NBA regular season draws to a conclusion.
Following the Warriors’ thrilling comeback win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, star guard Stephen Curry addressed the Wiggins situation. He remains hopeful that the former No. 1 pick will be able to return before the end of the season.
“It’s the same as it’s always been,” Curry said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “We’d love to have him and hope that that does happen because we want to be whole, and I’m sure he wants to be a part of this. But when he walks through the door is when it’ll be the right time for him. That’s kind of the expectation at this point, so nothing’s really changed from our standpoint.”
Stephen Curry Credits Draymond Green’s Intensity in Warriors Win
Golden State’s victory over the Pelicans wasn’t always shaping up to be that way. The team trailed by 20 points just before halftime, but were able to claw their way back into the game thanks to Curry’s 39 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds.
On top of the 34-year-old’s scoring show, the Warriors also got a competitive burst from Draymond Green, who helped propel them back into the game with his unmatched intensity.
Curry cited Green’s fire as the driving force behind Tuesday’s impressive comeback against New Orleans.
“It just brings out that competitive fire that we have demonstrated for a decade now, and just understanding what it takes to will yourself out of a tough situation,” Curry said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “I think I heard him Green say, ‘Not a lot of people can talk when they’re down 20.’ But it’s built off of a belief and an understanding of who we are at our best. That kind of competitive will that we’ve had. We’ve been in a lot of different situations over the course of these years, and for whatever reason, no matter how bad we’ve played, and how inconsistent we’ve been, we can pull off a night like tonight. So, he’s well aware of that and has a feel for- when it was a little sleepy in the first half, he got us going.”
Nevertheless, all is not lost. Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr, and the rest of the Warriors brass are still holding out hope that Wiggins could make his triumphant return. However, they better hope the 28-year old forward is able to sort out whatever issues he’s dealing with at the moment and be physically ready once he reports to the team again, since many feel like without his services, the Warriors will have a hard time mounting a deep playoff run, their postseason experience notwithstanding.
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