Andrew Wiggins named Least Defensive Player

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 15: Andrew Wiggins
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 15: Andrew Wiggins /

FiveThirtyEight names Andrew Wiggins the NBA’s worst defender.

The NBA just got together and handed out a bunch of fine awards to a bunch of fine players. Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder won the MVP in a highly contested race and Malcom Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks was the lowest draft pick ever to win Rookie of the Year. Plus, Drake was there so you know it was a pretty big deal for the NBA. FiveThirtyEight also gave out some other kind of awards recently and one was given to the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ Andrew Wiggins.

They weren’t exactly nice titles handed out. Jamal Crawford was given the Worst Single Game, Tristan Thompson was named the Least Offensive Player and Andrew Wiggins was named the Least Defensive Player.

I wish I could, no pun intended, defend Wiggins, but I can’t. Like Wiggins, I try to defend him a lot but my defending is really not that effective.

From FiveThirtyEight:

"Possession by possession, there are a few defenders who are as bad as Wiggins. When Wiggins contests a shot, opponents have a 56.1 effective field goal percentage; when they are unguarded, they have a 56.4 eFG percentage. Fundamentally, getting a shot up against Andrew Wiggins is the same as getting an open shot."

That is incredible to think about. Wiggins’ defensive intensity is about the same as that when a player uses a folding chair as a defender at practice.

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You almost have to try to be that bad which FiveThirtyEight also kind of hints at. Simply, Wiggins effort level on the defensive side of the ball is, to say the least, lackluster. The addition of Jimmy Butler should help the Wolves be able to hide Wiggins on the defensive end, but Wiggins does also need to greatly improve his defense.

My high school basketball coach preached that if you need to rest while you are on the court, you rest on offense and give your all on defense. If you have watched five minutes of regular season NBA basketball, you also know that defense is not the top priority. Wiggins, at a minimum, needs to find a happy medium.

I am hopeful that Wiggins will get better on defense, because he can’t get any worse.

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