There are times when fans can almost identify the exact turning point for a team. Andrew Wiggins' return could end up being the moment the Golden State Warriors' championship aspirations were revitalized. With the NBA Playoffs quickly approaching, that should be a scary thought for a Western Conference that hasn't really been able to solve the Dubs riddle in almost a decade.
Of course, Wiggins will not just strut back onto the court and immediately be the two-way force he was during last year's title run. After missing almost two months due to a family matter, the 28-year-old will need a little time to get his conditioning fully up to speed. Though, it proved to be a welcome distraction for him while away from the team.
“I feel like working out is a good thing to take your mind off what's happening. You go there and that's what you're focused on,” Wiggins said at a press conference, via Warriors on NBCS. “But I got a lot of shots up, lifted a couple times. But more so, I was on the court getting a lot of work in. Not too much conditioning, but it was in the work, though.”
Andrew Wiggins says he was able to work out and get shots up while he was away pic.twitter.com/d2SaG3n0zy
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 5, 2023
There is some urgency to get the All-Star wing quickly back in game action because Golden State (41-38) is only a half-game clear of the NBA Play-In Tournament and would obviously love to lock in the No. 6 seed or better. Wiggins has already been ruled out for Warriors' home game against the Oklahoma city Thunder Tuesday night.
It will be the 23rd consecutive game he has missed after also missing big chunks of the season with injury and illness. The Warriors have held up without him, but their true potential may only realized once one of their most reliable defenders is back to being a regular fixture in the lineup.
Andrew Wiggins (17.1 points per game, 39.6 percent 3-point shooting) was arguably the X-factor in the 2022 NBA Finals and could again be the linchpin needed to keep this dynasty going another year.