Andrew Wiggins: Effort and Expectations

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 03: Andrew Wiggins
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 03: Andrew Wiggins /

Andrew Wiggins showed everyone how good he can be when he wants to be but can he put it together for the long-term? 

Yesterday, in a must win game against a Clippers team one spot behind the Wolves in the log jammed Western Conference standings, Andrew Wiggins justified the frustrations of some fans, while strengthening the hopes of others with an impressive 27 point, 3 block performance.

We know Wiggins can score the basketball and it will allow him to play in the league for a long time but there is another level for him to get to. This is not about whether or not Wiggins can play in the league, he can, it’s about whether or not Glen Taylor made a mistake in giving Andrew Wiggins a max-level, five-year extension.

The most common complaint seems to be effort on a nightly basis, especially on defense. Defensive rebounding is about effort and if you are in the correct defensive position, you should be in better position to get the rebound, assuming you are willing to go and get it. In Wolves wins this season, Wiggins averages almost a full defensive rebound per game (.9) more than he does in their losses. More defensive effort means more defensive rebounds and more defensive rebounds get us closer to a Wolves win.

Yesterday, Wiggins went all in and showed us again why we should be disappointed when he only grabs a couple of boards and doesn’t seem to give a bleep on defense. The effort was best exemplified by a defensive possession against Austin Rivers. After chasing Rivers down and poking the ball out for the final time, Wiggins was given a standing ovation from the Target Center crowd, praising his efforts. When was the last time we saw an effort like that from the Canadian prodigy?

Next: Wolves have work to do if they want to win big

The fans want to see Wiggins perform at the highest level and seeing games like this one against the Clippers, strengthen the hope of some and bolster the frustration of others. Still only three seasons into his career, just 23 years old and still five years away from unrestricted free agency, there is still time and hope for Wiggins.