The reigning, defending 2022 NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors, currently hold the 6th seed in the Western Conference with a record of 41-38. Tomorrow night, they face the Oklahoma City Thunder in their final home game of the NBA regular season. Then they finish their final two games on the road to take on the Portland Trail Blazers and the Sacramento Kings.
The warriors are monsters at home this year, currently sporting a 32-8 home record; however, they’re absolutely abysmal on the road. Their record on the road is essentially night & day, as it currently sits at 9-30. With both the Lakers and Pelicans both appearing to be hitting their strides, to say that every single game is a must-win for the Warriors is an understatement.
Fortunately for the champs, help seems to be on the way in the form of Andrew Wiggins. Here’s what NBA Insider Shams Charania had to say in addition to the news reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
“Golden State’s Andrew Wiggins plans to attend Warriors-Thunder on Tuesday. The reason for Wiggins’ leave of absence since mid-February is that his father, Mitchell Wiggins, has been dealing with a serious medical situation, sources close to the situation say.”
Returning as early as the Warriors game would be a very beneficial for Wiggins to knock off any rust in front of a home crowd – a place they’ve comfortably dominated. Wiggins has been out of action since the middle of February, missing 22 games in a row. To say that they’ve missed his contributions to the team would be something of an understatement. The warriors have gone 12-10 in that span. Wiggins’ presence is most effective on the defensive side of the ball.
That being said, Wiggins’ situation extends beyond the realm of basketball, and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr made sure to remind everyone of that when speaking highly of his player to the media:
“Well, we love Wiggs, he’s a huge part of our team,” Kerr said March 22 after Golden State beat the Dallas Mavericks. “He’s a great player, but he’s a great human being. He’s just a great teammate, I love coaching him. So anytime you see one of your guys struggling, dealing with something, all you can do is support that player and give them space and that’s what we’ve tried to do.
But our players and our coaches, front office, we’re all thinking about Wiggs every day. If he comes back, great. If he doesn’t come back, that’s fine too. We just want to make sure that he’s in a good place, taking care of his family and we’ll see how it plays out.”
If Wiggins does return, and quickly gets back into the flow of things, then at the very least the chances of them seeing the postseason go up considerably.
ESPN Sources: Golden State Warriors All-Star forward Andrew Wiggins is nearing a return to the team and is expected to be back early this week. Wiggins has missed 21 games attending to a family matter. Huge boost for the defending champions and sixth seed in the West. pic.twitter.com/bQAw8ixINI
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 3, 2023