Wolves fans are really lucky. If you appreciate basketball at all, Wiggins and Towns playing for the same team is a treat. Besides the point that they are the last two number 1 picks and the hype that surrounded them prior, these two are absolutely talented and have a lot of basketball ahead of them. The amount of potential this duo has on both ends of the court is incredible. Many Wolves fans have had the pleasure to watch them develop a chemistry. This really hit me in the final few seconds of regulation of the game against the Magic. Down 93-91, Andrew Wiggins tied the game with a clutch drive to the basket. Super clutch.
Then Karl-Anthony Towns would make a game-saving block at the buzzer to send it to OT. Then, as if it were planned, the two celebrated together.
Sequences like these is why basketball seems to be such a poetic sport.
Towns has been phenomenal thus far and has exceeded his already lofty expectations. It seems like after every game there is a new stat about Towns that says he is ‘the first player to do X in first Y number of games since Shaq/ David Robinson’ or he is the ‘youngest player to do X in a game since [insert awesome young player here]’. More to come on his potential. But his basketball IQ has been showcased where he looks like a veteran for the most part. He also plays with a natural passion for the game and is a very polished individual. You can’t help but cheer for him.
Wiggins got out of the gate slow this season and there were a lot of questions. He has finally figured it out a little bit and has 19 or more points in the last 7 games, which is a career-high for him. He is beginning to be ultra-aggressive in attacking the rim and scoring at will. He finally feels like he will lead the team in scoring night in and night out. He has had some incredible dunks in where he just posterizes people and is taking smart shots. The best thing he has done thus far is he gets to the line quite a bit. He could improve his FT%, but that could be an easy fix eventually. Overall, he isn’t showing he is a difference maker within the advanced stats realm, he is passing the eye-test that he could arguably become an All Star, even this season.
Wiggins and Towns have played 308 minutes together already, and their tandem is much more efficient with Rubio on the floor with them. In the 308 minutes together, nothing stands out that they should be paired together quite yet. But there is potential there. Their games seem to compliment each other. There is still room for improvement but defensively, both guys can be anchors. Towns is arguably already a top 10 defensive center and Wiggins has shown flashes of shutting down players on the perimeter. They both have shown that the pick & roll could be effective in them running it, but at this point KAT seems to be running the pick & roll effectively with anyone.
For these two to truly help fill some voids on this Timberwolves team, it will be important for them to both be able to consistently hit 3-pointers. The Wolves have historically been a poor 3-point shooting team and have essentially gone passed the tipping point of number of young prospects vs number of role players/ shooters. If the Wolves are to become a contender, the 3-point shot needs to be a part of the arsenal in Towns & Wiggins’ games. Towns has shown that he can be a positive contributor on the floor all-around, but Wiggins at this point is looking to become a glorified scorer. Taking these things into consideration, trying to determine what these two become by playing with each other will be very intriguing.
The tweet above says (I know, very credible) that said Towns has been Shaq with a 3-point shot. He may not far off, although we haven’t seen the 3-point quite yet. That said, Towns has already been a double-double machine and can block/ alter shots fairly consistently. The numbers aren’t too far off either. I expected Towns to struggle with foul trouble a lot more, but he has faired well against some decent talent inside. Towns could be an incredible inside-outside offensive threat that provides top 10 defensive-anchoring who could also sprinkle a couple threes and passes. To me, sounds a lot like a Shaq who can shoot. Scary.
Wiggins is turning into a glorified scorer. And that can be absolutely fine in the future. It seems like Towns does enough where Wiggins really only needs to score. Again, the 3-point shot development is key for not only Wiggins as a player but also to stay relevant as a player in a league that is moving further away from the basket. Next, Wiggins will need to utilize his athleticism to be a perimeter stopper. He is beginning to also show the tenacity that he has been consistently criticized over. A glorified-scoring 3 and D guy? Well isn’t that the ideal player?
If these two guys can reach this full potential, they certainly look like they could be the best duo in basketball in a few years. Watching them grow together might be the most exciting thing to happen in this franchise’s short history. Of course, there are a million factors that this wouldn’t play out perfectly, like injuries, egos, salary caps, and the other 13 roster spots. But its definitely fun to speculate from a fan’s perspective. And since they are young, we will get to speculate for a long time.