Andrew Wiggins got his shot to face the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time on Tuesday night. Wiggins was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the blockbuster deal involving Kevin Love before the 2014-15 NBA campaign began.
Wiggins finished with one of his best performances of the season and a dunk over Love which must felt good considering the circumstances that forced him to Minnesota.
After his 27-point performance against the Cavaliers, Wiggins was asked who was the tougher player to guard between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Wiggins said the following about two of the NBA’s elite, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune:
I asked Wiggins if LeBron was most challenging matchup for him so far b/c of his strength and he replied that Kobe's been toughest so far
— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) December 24, 2014
The Timberwolves have played the Los Angeles Lakers twice so far this season giving Wiggins a bigger sample size of Bryant. Kobe was clearly motivated to face one of the up-and-coming rookies defending Wiggins about as well as anyone, holding the former Kansas standout to only three points back on Nov. 28.
Wiggins played much better in his second outing against Kobe and company in Minnesota scoring 16 points, but shot poorly going 4-for-12 from the field.
Coming into the matchup against LeBron’s Cavaliers, Wiggins definitely had a different mindset and more of an incentive to play at a high level. The rookie small forward was very efficient scoring his 27 points on 16 shots while going perfect from beyond the arc hitting all three of his attempts.
Wiggins hasn’t burst on the NBA scene as many anticipated he would in his rookie season after getting selected with the top pick in the 2014 NBA draft, but he’s shown signs of promise at times while also making rookie mistakes. The Canadian product has a bright future ahead of him, but it might take some time before the Timberwolves can compete in a brutal and highly competitive Western Conference.
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