19th Apr2018

Karl-Anthony Towns 17-18 ‘The Dunks’

by Street History

12th Apr2018

Andrew Wiggins 2017-18 ‘Dunks’

by Street History

20th Mar2018

Minnesota Timberwolves Highlights vs Houston Rockets 3/18/18

by Street History

15th Mar2018

Andrew Wiggins vs Washington Wizards 3/13/2018

by Street History

Wiggins, since Butler injury:
7 games
36.7 MPG
46.3% FGs
37.5% 3Pt (4.6 att/gm)
70.4% FTs (3.9 att/gm)
20.7 PPG
3.4 RPG
2.3 APG

15th Jan2018

2017-18 Minnesota Timberwolves Highlights

by Street History

18th Aug2017

Andrew Wiggins: Defense

by Street History

For the better part of three seasons Andrew Wiggins has been a one-way player. An incredibly offensively talented wing who has been bad on defense. How bad you might ask? Well, Wiggins’ Defensive Box Plus/Minus has been negative every season in the NBA. -2.9 for 2016-17, -2.5 for 2015-16, and his rookie year was -1.8. Wiggins’ Defensive Win Share has never broken one.  According to synergy stats, the most widely used advanced stat metric system, Wiggins has measured as below average defender. He  gives up .975 PPP (points per possession) during the 2016-17 season and that placed him in the 22nd percentile of all NBA players.

Wiggins runs into most of his troubles on defense by standing and watching, much like a certain 2015-16 James Harden. You’ll see in the first clip he allows DeMar DeRozan to get space to the corner and he easily gets picked off by Kyle Lowry. Wiggins has a problem of allowing his man to have ample mounts of free space like grandma’s 256GB iPhone.

Here Wiggins gives DeRozan space again, only this time it’s understandable. DeRozan isn’t a lethal threat from the perimeter, but the Wolves defense of Rubio and Towns should handle this. There’s isn’t any reason for Wiggins to be helping down this much. Again, the root of his defensive miscues, giving his man cushion.

 

Standing and watching is not the only issue as Wiggins doesn’t seem to be ready on defense. In this clip you witness players Wiggins will be guarding use an offensive move he tends to use quite well, the back cut. For a wing as athletically inclined as Wiggins he should not be back cut on as easily as he is.

With many young defenders you tend to spot they don’t communicate very well with each other. Communication breakdowns lead to switching difficulties and makes navigating screens when guarding a primary ball handler like Gordon Hayward extremely difficult. Wiggins will seemly get picked off quite easily, or he won’t fight through screens to adequately defend his man. The Timberwolves roster is one of the youngest in all of the NBA so communication breakdowns have been frequent for Wiggins’ first three seasons in the NBA.

 

In these two clips of early possessions vs the Washington Wizards Wiggins does not get to his own man in transition which presents a communication breakdown between himself and teammates. The first possession the only explanation for the lack defense seems to be Wiggins being lethargic. He slowly jogs down the court while Dieng backpedals quickly and beats Gortat to his spot. Dieng gets off Gortat to defend the shot but it’s far too late as Porter drains the open 3-pointer. The second clip even though Porter missed the 3-pointer, Wiggins doesn’t recognize his teammates are already back. The paint is packed and even though John Wall is a dangerous driver there’s not any room to make a move.  Otto Porter, an over 40% from beyond 3 shooter is left open.

One Steal a Game is Misleading

There’s been great debate recently over if steals are an over-hyped box score stat, or they have serious meaningful value. For Andrew Wiggins it is definitely an over-hyped average in his stat line. Wiggins managed to go 30 games without registering any steals at all and average one steal per game. After reviewing much of the 82 steals of 2016-17 via NBA.com he manages to simply get many steals by the ball just falling into his hands by either bad passes or miscues by an opposing player (video below is a collection of these steals). In the 52 games Wiggins got a steal, 21 of those games he picked up 2 or more steals, and 8 of those 21 he managed 3 or more.

 

Potential

Wiggins’ career has been defined by potential, latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness. Wiggins’ long reach and athletic prowess set in motion the idea he’d be a fairly useful player on the defensive end of the court.  So far, Wiggins on defense has looked like a lost puppy but good for him, lost puppies can eventually find their ways. Wiggins still only 22 years old and he does still have all the physical tools to be that the least an average NBA defender.

On the ball Wiggins has shown promise of fulfilling his potential as a defender. Making a play on the ball like this one, he utilizes his long arms and quickness to deflect LeBron James’s pass. He collects the ball and races down the floor and finishes through contact over LeBron (Wiggins in transition generates 1.325 PPP (88th percentile).

 

When actively engaged defending, Wiggins’ potential shines. In this clip he’s able to shred the screen and deflect a pass intended for the cutting Klay Thompson. Minnesota picks up the deflected ball and runs down on offense attempting for an early offensive score. In the second clip, Wiggins takes it upon himself to switch off his man (correct help), and then using his natural capabilities to deflect the ball. Also note his footwork, setting his feet, and when he jumps he does not extend his arms towards the offensive player.

 

When Wiggins matches up with similar or smaller players he’s able to disrupt the player like in this example of him guarding Ingram. Ingram isn’t able to get closer to the rim and settles for an awful turnaround jumper in the lane.

Wiggins’ long reach (7 feet) leaves you like a Saint Bernard and needing a towel to dry the drool around your face and chin.  Many times he has very active hands and volley’s the basketball up into the air for himself or a teammate to corral. This video collection I edited up has numerous examples collected together of Wiggins making plays on defense with his long reach. Sometimes Wiggins will just have his hands in the passing lanes creating loose balls or he’ll use his quickness to slide in front of pass to pick it off like Deion Sanders. Remember above how Wiggins is in the 88th percentile of scoring in transition? Getting better defensively could lead to Wiggins becoming a significantly more efficient offensive player by making plays defensively like these.

Tough Match-ups

Each and every single night in the NBA there aren’t many easy match-ups. When you are anointed the next something, best this, or future everything like Andrew Wiggins you get tough match-ups night in and night out. When Minnesota and Golden State come together, Wiggins lands Kevin Durant. If the nightly contest is the Toronto Raptors, he’s picking up DeRozan for the majority of the game. If it’s Utah, he’s looking at Gordon Hayward’s #20 yellow with a purple background (now Boston green). When Jimmy Butler was playing for Chicago, you got it, again Wiggins. Wiggins was even tasked with guarding Butler his 3rd game of his young career. With the Wolves leading late Butler duped Wiggins with a shot fake and drew a foul leading the Bulls to victory. When Minnesota is faced with Greg Popovich and “Best 2-way player” Kawhi Leonard, again majority of the game it’s Andrew Wiggins getting the nod. I suggest taking a few minutes to watch the videos below of Wiggins defending each of the top wing players in the NBA.

What’s next?

Being rated as a below average defender, individually Andrew Wiggins must improve defensively. The lapses of focus seem to be the easiest fix but many coaches can give examples of players never “getting it.” Tom Thibodeau made a move in June that potentially could lock Wiggins in and rid the bad habits he’s exhibited through his first 3 seasons.

June 2017 Tom Thibodeau shipped Zach LaVine to Chicago for an arguable Top 10 player in Jimmy Butler. Pairing Butler and Wiggins together in the back-court could significantly propel Wiggins’ potential on defense as Butler is a top tier defender on the perimeter. The pairing in theory should be able to accelerate the learning curve of Tom Thibodeau’s defensive scheme for Wiggins, a scheme Butler perfected as a player under Thibs’ during his reign in the Windy City. While Butler has been in Chicago without Thibs’ for the last 2 years he’s still excelled on the defensive side while also becoming a much more lethal scorer. Butler became a legitimate ball handler and playmaker  that gives the Wolves options offensively and defensively that Wiggins has never experienced in his young career. Having another A option scorer should allow Wiggins to have energy on defense. Having Bulter’s defensive ability will allow Wiggins to guard Danny Green or CJ Miles instead of Leonard or DeRozan and vise-versa.

11th Aug2017

New Era New Threads

by Street History

At the end of the 2016-17 NBA season the Minnesota Timberwolves announced they’d be updating their team logo, colors, and jersey. During halftime of the final home game of 2016-17 Minnesota unveiled the new logo. The new jerseys would be unveiled at a later date. That day has now came.

The new primary colors are midnight blue, aurora green, lake blue, moonlight grey and frost white. Minnesota displayed two of four jerseys they will sport in 2017-18 and beyond, the ICON and ASSOCIATION editions.

The ICON Edition features Minnesota’s midnight blue color primarily and says “Minnesota” across the front. The Timberwolves describe this jersey as “symbolic to our rich heritage and separates us from our opponents.”

The ASSOCIATION edition features the frost white color primarily and says “Wolves” across the front. The Timberwolves describe this jersey as it “pays homage to the world’s most exclusive basketball club and stands as a representation of originality.”

The Wolves started in the NBA in 1989-90. Over the years Minnesota has debuted new jerseys a few different times. First up are the inaugural jerseys. These jerseys stayed around until 1995-96 for Kevin Garnett’s rookie year.

For the 1996-97 season Minnesota debuted a new improved look. Reshaped logo, colors, and jerseys.

During the 2008-09 season Minnesota refreshed the current logo and jerseys and the team sported these jerseys until the 2008-2010 NBA season.

The Wolves made slight moderation to the jerseys for the 2010-11 season.

Over the next few seasons and until the 2016-17 season the Wolves added alternates. They had a special “Muskies” jersey as well as the sleeved jerseys. Then during 16-17 the Wolves played their first Christmas Day game against Oklahoma City Thunder.

10th Jul2017

Goodbye Ricky Rubio (Videos)

by Street History

Last time my favorite team traded my favorite player that team stopped being my favorite team. On February 25th, 2005 the Minnesota Vikings traded Randy Moss. I dumped all allegiance to any NFL team at the moment. On July 1, 2017 the Minnesota Timberwolves traded my favorite player on my favorite team. The Wolves will remain my favorite team. Ricky Rubio will remain my favorite player. I won’t be a Utah Jazz fan but I’ll be here supporting them to win so Rubio win’s.

Being a Rubio defender can be exhausting. No matter how well Rubio played on any single night it was always, will he make shots? Didn’t matter if Rubio got the 8.5 career assists or 4 rebounds or 2 steals. It was always about the shot. Only thing I appreciate about the detractors vs Rubio was at least it never seemed personal. And if it was that would’ve been strange because Rubio never seemed not likable.

In the end, Rubio’s tenure probably would’ve ended better if the Wolves won more games while he was on the roster. Unfortunately the Wolves lost a lot during the Rubio years. In between injuries the Wolves did go 31-51 and 40-42 in back to back seasons (Rubio missed 25 games during the 31-51 season, Kevin Love missed 64). He went through 2 rebuilds. Had his most successful scoring, assisting, and shooting season since entering the NBA this past season.

But Tom Thibodeau made big changes after the season. On draft night he moved Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn. 8 days later traded Rubio. Signed Jeff Teague. Signed Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford. The new Wolves don’t start until October though. Let’s now enjoy Rubio highlights over the years in video form.

Ridiculous passes

So many easy baskets for the Wolves by Rubio pushing it ahead.

Passes over the D for easy 3’s

Rubio had a career high in field goal percentage

Career High Points Scored in single game

Career High and Minnesota Timberwolves single game record for Assists with 19

Extra hustle plays

One touch passes

Alley-oops over the top to Andrew Wiggins

Let’s not forgot about Zach LaVine

And Karl-Anthony Towns

And Shabazz

Beat the Warriors at Home

Triple Double

And random highlights

08th May2017

Ricky Rubio Dime Thread VIDEO

by Street History

01st May2017

Ricky Rubio 2016-17 ‘The Dimes’

by Street History

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