‘Tis the holiday season. With the Jimmy Butler drama behind us, and Andrew Wiggins coming off his best all-around game of the season, the Wolves sit at 15-18, good for 13th in the Western Conference. Coming into the season, everyone knew the West would be tough, but 11 teams being separated by less than 5 games? That’s practically unheard of. So, in this holiday season, what three things should Wolves fans be asking Santa for? Let’s break get into “Three Timberwolves Gifts.”
Andrew Wiggins Consistency
Did you see what I saw in Andrew Wiggins against the Oklahoma City Thunder? Wow. That player is still in there? In fact, he is, and most people knew he was in there. Now, it’s time to bring on the consistency. This season, Wiggins is averaging just 16.7 points per game, a career-low. In addition, he’s shooting a career-low from the field: 40.5%. To make things worst, he’s in the first year of his max contract he signed last fall with Minnesota. On the bright side, Wiggins keeps giving a reason for fans to believe. Unfortunately for me, that belief is out the window, However, if Wiggins can consistently perform how he did against the Thunder on Sunday night, the Wolves become a much better team. For the Wolves this season, they will go as far as Andrew Wiggins takes them. He needs to stop taking so many mid-range shots and start attacking the rim more often. At the rim this season, Wiggins is shooting 61%. Am I still on Wiggins island? No. But, hopefully Wiggins can perform more consistently and prove me wrong.
Start Dario Saric
Taj Gibson has been a great veteran player for the Timberwolves in the two seasons he’s been with the team. However, it’s time to move Saric into the starting lineup and let Taj get run with the bench. Taj can still provide quality minutes off the bench, and he’d fit in well with Rose and Dieng in the second unit. Starting Saric is a move for the future, and a move to help KAT. Towns plays much better with Saric on the floor compared to Gibson. Saric helps space the floor, helping KAT have much more room to operate down low. In addition, Saric is a great situational cutter that slices up the defense at opportunistic times. For Minnesota, it would be in their best interest to start Saric, for now and the future.
Make sure Okogie keeps seeing time
I talked about this more extensively in a Wolf Den Daily last week, but it’s worth mentioning again. The Timberwolves first-round pick over the summer has been a pleasant surprise. His defense speaks for itself, and his plus/minus on the floor is Tyus Jones like. In a brutal Western Conference, playing Okogie only helps the team down the road. While it’s not impossible to make the playoffs, it’s becoming more and more likely that the Wolves miss out. With that said, getting Okogie and other young players more run will help develop the future of the Timberwolves.
Have a Happy Holidays and be wishing for these three things for the Timberwolves this holiday season.