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‘We’re on the rіse. We found ѕomething good’ – Andrew Wіggіns fіres wаrning on сomebaсk of ‘reаl’ Golden Stаte

Andrew Wiggins has returned to a Golden State Warriors squad that may be better than the one he left just over a week before. Why? Moses Moody’s four-game absence due to a personal family problem propelled him from the bench to the starting lineup, and Steve Kerr informed reporters on Tuesday that the third-year wing will remain in the Dubs’ rotation even when Wiggins returns to his usual spot in the first five.

Golden State went 3-1 on its Eastern Conference road trip without Wiggins, defeating the Washington Wizards and overcoming huge travel issues to beat both the New York Knicks and the Toronto Raptors in a difficult back-to-back. Even Sunday’s historic blowout loss to the Boston Celtics did not completely derail the Dubs’ undeniable momentum. After all, Brandin Podziemski joined Wiggins on the TD Garden bench, and the Warriors’ long-awaited identity did not vanish with a 52-point loss.

“We are on the upswing. We discovered something good, the identity we were looking for,” Wiggins remarked on Tuesday about what he noticed while away from the team. “We put together elements that worked, and the last few games have been particularly memorable. We truly put something nice together; everyone is playing well and cohesively, and we look like the real Golden State Warriors.”

Golden State appeared to be the “real Warriors” even before Wiggins went down. Kerr’s squad is 14-6 since resuming its season on January 24th, following the terrible murder of assistant coach Dejan Milojevic, and has the third-best winning % in basketball at that time. Draymond Green became the Warriors’ full-time starting center just two games into that period, a lineup and stylistic shift that proved to be the driving reason behind them regaining their identity—and assisting Wiggins in turning around his once-disastrous season.

Wiggins averaged 14.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals in his final 15 games before missing time, shooting 53.8% overall and 47.2% from three. He’d also become a lot more dynamic point-of-attack defender, consistently keeping the ball in front of him and making more plays as a help defender. Golden State’s net rating with him on the floor during that time was a whopping +9.1, according to, second only to Green’s.

Kerr emphasized that while Wiggins would most likely start against the Bucks on Wednesday, his minutes load would be determined by how his body reacts to being away from pro basketball for more than a week. Fortunately, the 29-year-old was able to get some training in while attending to his family obligations.

“I was just getting work done when I could,” Wiggins explained. “It obviously wasn’t my first priority, but I did make it a priority to get some work in.”

The personal problem that led Wiggins to miss the Warriors’ road trip has yet to be resolved, with him and his family taking it “day-by-day.” The 10-year veteran highlighted on Tuesday that he is pleased to be back with his teammates and coaches, who provided him with unflinching and unequivocal support throughout his terrible leave of absence.

Wiggins’ personal problems, sadly, do not appear to be going away. In the meantime, he may find comfort not just in being with the club as the season’s stretch run begins, but also in playing the “fun” kind of basketball that has defined Golden State’s dynasty since it began nearly a decade ago.

“We’re sharing the ball, getting up and down, playing fast, aggressive,” Wiggins said of the Warriors. “We’re locking in defensively, but most importantly, we’re having fun on the floor. I believe that while we are having fun, we are most dangerous.