Steve Kerr is asked about Wiggins being nicknamed Maple Jordan?— (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) January 10, 2021
“I’m sorry, that’s a thing?”
It’s been a thing “since Wiggins was drafted,” NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke explained to Kerr. “Will you use it in the future?” “Will I use it? Most likely not, Kerith,” Steve responded. “But it’s good to have as an option.”
Here are other options for Kerr. Along with Maple Jordan, he can address Wiggins as Junior Jordan, The Prospect, or Mr. Fantastic. He can also use Wiggs, as he did during the interview, or simply refer to him by his first name. No matter what Steve decides to use, it’s more important for Wiggins to find his game and help the Warriors reach the Playoffs. And so far, he’s on the right track.
The Warriors (6-4) are tied with the Utah Jazz as the fourth seed in the West. After a slow start, they won 4 out of the last 5 games and are looking like they’ll be able to figure it out. The same can be said about Wiggins. Two games into the season, he seemed incapable of filling the void Klay Thompson’s Achilles injury left. Today, the Dub Nation can be much more optimistic about it.
Andrew Wiggins: “I’m having fun. This is great Warriors basketball. Great culture over here, great vibe.”— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) January 11, 2021
The first two games excluded, Wiggins is averaging 18.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 2.9 APG. He’s been very efficient over the span, shooting .474 from the floor, .429 from three, and .759 from the charity stripe. He’s been great offensively, but the biggest jump Wiggins made is on the defensive side of the floor, where he’s imposed himself as the team’s best perimeter defender. “I feel like I’ve always been good at defense. Here the culture is different,” Wiggins said. “The guys behind me I know they got my back. It’s great here.”
Here’s Andrew Wiggins’ defensive work against the Raptors on Sunday night. Four blocks + some important fourth quarter isolation stops on Pascal Siakam. pic.twitter.com/gHut5RNk5p— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 11, 2021
Having Wiggins to defend on the wing is a huge relief for coach Kerr. He isn’t afraid of the challenge of guarding the best guys, and so far, he’s done a great job as the team’s No.1 defensive option. In 2 games he guarded Kawhi Leonard, Wiggins held the Clippers superstar to 4 points on 2-for-12 from the field and 0-for-4 from three and forced him to commit 5 turnovers. There aren’t many tougher wing matchups in the NBA, and Wiggins delivered on both occasions.
He always had physical tools to be a great defender but never played to his potential. The Warriors culture destroyed the barriers and turned him into a two-way presence everyone thought he could be. That’s why it doesn’t matter how Steve Kerr addresses Wiggins as long as he keeps doing what he’s done so far.