The Minnesota Timberwolves fell to the San Antonio Spurs in the season opener, but Andrew Wiggins looked impressive on the offensive side of the ball.
There’s an argument to be had that the Minnesota Timberwolves really should have won the season opener against the San Antonio Spurs. Not that the Spurs aren’t an excellent team, but they were without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker in the season opener. Most teams that would be a major problem but if you are the Spurs the replacements are studs Rudy Gay and Patty Mills… it all worked out for the Spurs in a 107-99 victory.
Despite the loss, there were some flashes of brilliance and what is potentially to come for Minnesota. The main star of the night was Andrew Wiggins. It was a game that was good enough to make owner Glen Taylor feel a little bit about giving Wiggins that huge contract.
Wiggins was the high scorer in the game with 26 points in 30 minutes of play. The former Kansas Jayhawk went 9-14 from the field while going 4-6 from three-point land. The only offensive deficiency for Wiggins was missing five free throws in a 4-9 night at the charity stripe.
The second quarter was a complete offensive showcase for Wiggins. Everything that he threw up seemed to go in, including his three-point shots. Wiggins started hot from deep last season as well, but cooled off. If the Timberwolves want a high seed in the playoffs, they’ll need Wiggins to be able to continue hitting three-pointers all season long.
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Multiple things go into Wiggins looking impressive on the offensive end of the court. Simply another year of experience in the league and sharpening skills in the offense help the cause. Another major contributor is the presence of Jimmy Butler. In previous seasons, opponents could go all out defending Wiggins on the wings but no longer can sell out on only stopping Wiggins with the even better Butler also being a weapon.
For the record, Butler had 12 points in his Wolves regular season debut. Karl-Anthony Towns notched another double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
The Timberwolves had their chances to beat one of the best teams in the West and they probably should have taken full advantage of it, but they didn’t. It can be accepted at this point in the season, but it cannot last that way long. It won’t last that way if Wiggins can continue to have this kind of offensive output.
Wiggins and the Timberwolves get back on the floor on Friday night when they host their home opener in the newly remodeled Target Center. The Wolves will welcome in Ricky Rubio and the Utah Jazz for a 7:00 central game that can be seen on Fox Sports North.