For the first time in his career, Andrew Wiggins is heading to the NBA Finals.
And yes, after playing 16 playoff games in 40 days and keeping one of the league’s top scorers in the last five in Luka Dončić, he’s finally going to admit he’s a bit tired.
“The first two games, no, but that last game got me, I’m not going to lie,” Wiggins said when asked about his level of exhaustion by NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke after the win. 120-110 by the Warriors over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night. “The last game, I felt it a bit.
“But the adrenaline, just the sense of being out there and competing got me through that.”
Wiggins was far from perfect in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, missing all seven 3-point attempts, but he joined teammate Kevon Looney in posting a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds – three of these boards to come. the offensive end.
Wiggins, who had just five NBA playoff games under his belt before Golden State’s current run, was asked to be Dončić’s primary defenseman for much of the series. He was praised for his effort in Game 1 against the Mavericks in which Dončić was held to 20 points — his lowest production in the 2021-22 playoffs.
“I’m not really too tired,” Wiggins said after Game 1. “I’m locked in. I’m motivated and when you see it working or I feel like it’s helping us play better, that just motivates me to do more. I’m not tired or anything.
In 16 games this postseason, Wiggins is averaging 15.8 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 35.3 percent from deep and 48 percent from the field. He also threw one of the most vicious dunks in Warriors history when he posterized Dončić in Game 3.
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“Man, it’s the timing that matters,” Wiggins told Burke on Thursday night. “That’s what you work for. That’s why you put all your effort into the regular season, it’s to prepare for this moment.”
It’s a moment Wiggins didn’t have on his resume before. But it’s a moment he seems more than ready for.