Sacramento, Calif. – for the second year in a row Golden State Warriors Finally entered the playoffs on the verge of being a complete team again. Last season, it was their best player who was making a comeback. This has been his X factor this season.
Andrew Wiggins made his return Saturday night in Game 1 of the Warriors’ first-round series against the sacramento kingsGiving Golden State the missing piece of its puzzle back despite its Game 1 loss.
“When you go through all the decisions to put the roster together, all the pieces have to fit,” Stephen Curry Said. “That’s a big part of everything we do. When you go into a season, you want to be as healthy as possible, because that’s how all the pieces fit. We’ve had this for a very long time. And we tried to hold the fort. Now we have that look.”
Saturday was Wiggins’ first game since February 13, after being out for two months due to a family matter. Wiggins appeared comfortable even with the long layoff.
In 28 minutes, he finished with 17 points on 7 of 16 shooting and four blocked shots, including three in the first half – tied for the most in any half of his career. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the plan was for Wiggins to play the last five to six minutes of each quarter and the rest on top of subsequent periods. Kerr didn’t indicate whether that would be Wiggins’ plan in Game 2.
“Awesome to have him back,” said Kerr. “You know, we’re all out with him. Our team makes sense with Vigs coming back. I thought he looked really good. The first half was amazing, the second half he was maybe a little down.” Which is to be expected, considering he hasn’t played in a match for over two months. He was brilliant.”
klay thompson Added: “I’m so proud of Wiggs. To miss three months in NBA basketball and what he did tonight is pretty impressive. Barely sweats.”
And just as the Warriors brought Curry off the bench when he returned for their first-round series against the Nuggets last season, Wiggins came off the bench against the Kings.
It was the first time he came off the bench in 662 games he played in his eight-season career – including the regular season and playoffs.
“It’s hard to deal with your emotions because there’s so much adrenaline, so much eagerness to get back on the floor,” Curry said. “The one thing you have to have is experience and knowing what that environment is like. … You can go into the memory bank and hopefully build confidence from there. … Then you take that momentum.” And turn it around. Even more energy for Game 2.”
Wiggins said he felt good after Saturday’s game. When he walked into the news conference room, he said he was tired, but his body didn’t feel bent or out of shape. During the game, his instincts and physical skills were present. What was missing was his shot — he went 1-of-8 from 3-point range.
With 10.8 seconds left and Golden State trailing by one, Thompson began driving toward the hoop, pulling defenders with him. He kicked the ball to the left corner, where Wiggins was waiting unattended.
Wiggins initiates the shot but hits in front of the rim. Even with that lapse, the Warriors had no problem finding shot choice.
“I’ll take that shot every day of the week,” Thompson said.
Added Kerr: “Take that shot all day. Left corner 3, that’s his spot.”
Otherwise, Kerr was critical of some of the efforts made by the Warriors against the Kings. But Golden State believes that shot selection is what led to Game 1 being lost.
Sacramento grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and scored 21 second-chance points, most of them in the second half. Late in the third quarter, the Kings’ work on the offensive glass helped them mount a 15–4 run to come back from a 10-point deficit. They entered the fourth quarter one by one. The Warriors say he was a defining figure in the game’s offensive rebounding.
Heading into Game 2, fixing is the main adjustment the Warriors will be looking to make.
“We thrive in these situations,” Curry said of making game-to-game adjustments. “It’s very different from the regular season because you’re playing with the same team and there’s a little bit of an advantage mentally, watching the game and making those adjustments – that matters. … Lots of confidence for us.” is what looks like to us.”