NBA

'I thought I was dreaming!' – Warriors star Wiggins reacts to All-Star selection

By Sports Desk January 28, 2022

Andrew Wiggins thought he was dreaming when he learned he had been selected to his first NBA All-Star Game as a starter for the Western Conference team.

Wiggins and Ja Morant earned their first call-ups when the starters were confirmed on Thursday, with LeBron James and Kevin Durant named as captains.

While Memphis Grizzlies guard Morant was widely expected to be picked, fellow first-time starter Wiggins was seen as a surprise selection by some.

It was clear how much the achievement meant to the Warriors forward as he spoke to reporters after the 124-115 win over his former team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, on Thursday.

Wiggins will join Warriors teammate Stephen Curry in representing the West when the annual midseason exhibition is held on February 20 in Cleveland.

"It was mind-blowing," Wiggins said about learning the news. 

"I was taking my pregame nap. My girl woke me up and said, 'You're a starter! You’re a starter!' – I thought I was dreaming for a second!

"It means a lot. I've been working hard in different situations and I found a home here, something that works. Hopefully I can keep it going and this is not the last one.

"There has been nothing but love [from my teammates]. As soon as I got here, in the game, this whole time, I'm sure when I go down the locker room, they will give me more love. So, it's a special feeling."

Wiggins had 19 points that included five three-pointers as the Warriors improved to 36-13 for the season and 23-4 at home by beating the Timberwolves.

They sit second in the Western Conference and Wiggins is their second-highest scorer this season with 18.1 points per game, only behind Curry (25.8).

Steve Kerr was delighted for his player, who has had to wait eight seasons for his first selection.

"One of the proudest moments just to see what Wiggs has done since he got here a couple of years go," said the Warriors coach.

"The journey he has travelled has been rocky at times, and to see how hard he's worked and to see all the work rewarded, just could not be happier for him.''

Curry had a team-high 29 points for the Warriors against Minnesota.

They have a huge game next at home to the Brooklyn Nets (26-19) on Saturday.

Related items

  • Curry lights Mavs up as Warriors take 3-0 series lead Curry lights Mavs up as Warriors take 3-0 series lead

    The Golden State Warriors moved a step closer to a sixth NBA Finals appearance since 2015 with a 109-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, taking a 3-0 series lead.

    After shooting six-of-10 from beyond the arc in Game 2, Stephen Curry was again in fine shooting touch as the series moved to Dallas, scoring 31 points on 10-of-20 shooting.

    The former unanimous MVP tripped over a vendor early in the first half, but went on to overtake Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki for career 30-point playoff games while also shooting an even 50 per cent from the perimeter, adding 11 assists and five rebounds.

    The Warriors found the right balance and took care of the basketball while still assertively moving it, with only 10 turnovers and 28 assists off 38 made field goals for the game.

    Five Warriors scored in double figures in the Game 3 win while the team finished with a 12-point margin for points in the paint (46-34).

    It counteracted their relatively disappointing shooting performance on the night, along with a big rebounding night from the team, doubling the Mavericks in offensive rebounds (14-7) for the game.

    Andrew Wiggins was critical in that respect, grabbing six offensive rebounds of his own for 11 total rebounds, along with 27 points and three assists.

    The Mavs could not get anything going in the half-court and generate good attempts from the perimeter despite a high volume on home court, going 13-of-44 as a team.

    Luka Doncic put up 40 points on 11-of-23 shooting along with 11 rebounds but the Warriors worked to restrict the Mavs' shooters, with Reggie Bullock and Maxi Kleber shooting a combined zero-of-12 from beyond the arc.

     

     

  • Butler will not need MRI, as Spoelstra praises Adebayo's stabilising force Butler will not need MRI, as Spoelstra praises Adebayo's stabilising force

    Jimmy Butler will not require an MRI scan after leaving Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals with knee inflammation, said Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who praised Bam Adebayo for "stabilising" the team in his absence in a 109-103 win over the Boston Celtics.

    Butler played 19 minutes in the first half but did not emerge from the locker room for the second at TD Garden.

    Yet the Heat were still able to claim a 2-1 lead in the series, a rematch of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals in the NBA Bubble, thanks predominantly to Adebayo.

    Adebayo went 15 for 22 from the field as he scored 31 points and added 10 rebounds.

    He also had six assists and four steals. The Heat's 19 steals marked a franchise postseason record and the most for any team in a playoff game since 2015.

    Having produced 32 and 27-point games against the Celtics in the bubble, Adebayo's three-highest scoring playoff performances have now all come versus Boston.

    "He did his version of what Jimmy does in terms of 'do what's necessary for the game,'" Spoelstra told a media conference of Adebayo, who finished plus-17 in the plus-minus.

    "He was extremely assertive, it happened in a lot of moments that were fully in the context of how we want to play. He was just way more assertive on the catch and those moments in between. 

    "It wasn't just the scoring, that's what everybody is going to recognise but he did so many things in terms of getting us organised, facilitating, playing point guard for us at times, running offense in the post through him and then defending as he always does one through five against a team that presents a lot of challenges.

    "He's a winning player. He really is the heart and soul of our group, you can count on him all the time, he doesn't get caught up in all the noise, he's just out there competing, playing winning basketball, doing it on both ends and doing what is necessary.

    "When Jimmy was out in the second half he just stabilised us. It got a little bit gnarly out there and when it did we were able to get the ball to Bam and just get something coherent."

  • Heat hold out without Butler in Boston to take Game 3 Heat hold out without Butler in Boston to take Game 3

    The Miami Heat warded off a gritty fightback from the Boston Celtics to win 109-103 on Saturday, reclaiming home-court advantage and taking out Game 3 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

    The Celtics were down by 26 points in the first half and clawed their way back to make it a one-possession game down the stretch, but clutch baskets from Max Strus and Bam Adebayo were able to halt momentum.

    Erik Spoelstra's side eventually saw the game out from the free-throw line.

    With Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro off injured in the second half, Adebayo finished with 31 points on 15-of-22 shooting, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals in a big performance.

    Jaylen Brown led the late charge for the Celtics, scoring a game-high 40 points off 14-of-20 shooting from the floor, but turnovers were critical as the team failed to take care of the ball.

    Brown was responsible for seven of his own while Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart combined for 10 with the Celtics committing 23 turnovers.

    Boston shot 37.5 per cent from three-point range but following a 39-14 first quarter, were facing an uphill battle.

    The Heat scored 33 points off those turnovers in contrast to Boston's nine points, with double-digit margins for points in the paint (48-34) and bench points (26-16).

    Butler came up with eight points and three rebounds as well as two assists and steals, but knee inflammation saw him miss the second half. 

    Kyle Lowry's return to the floor was pivotal for the Heat, however, finishing with 11 points, six assists and four steals.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.