The New York Islanders are Overachieving in 2018-2019
The New York Islanders are overachieving in the 2018-2019 season. Why's this the case?
This was supposed to be the season that Andrew Wiggins broke out. The season that his numbers matched his physical tools. No more volume scoring and lazy scoring, it was time to be efficient and play with a consistent defensive effort. Minnesota brought in Jimmy Butler to be the alpha and also to mentor and push Wiggins. The Wolves got better, but Wiggins wasn't taking the next step. He was still taking a lot of shots and missing a lot. His defense was only a little better than last season. Not great for a player who is making $7million a year and has five years left on his deal.
Then in a game at Houston Jimmy Butler got hurt. A knee injury that would sideline him for four to six weeks. The Wolves would need everyone to step up to survive the brutal western conference. They would especially need Wiggins to step up. Since Butler went down the Wolves are a respectable 5-5 against a tough schedule. In those ten games Wiggins is averaging 21.4 points on 48 percent shooting from the field, 41 percent from three, but still struggling from the line at 65 percent.
Compare those numbers from 18.6 points on 44 percent shooting and 33 percent shooting from three. His free throw shooting is technically one percent better. It is clear Wiggins has raised his game. His efficiency has improved as his volume has increased. Wiggins has helped Karl Anthony-Towns carry the offensive load in Butler's absence.
His defense has still been poor, but at least he is walking the walk on offense. In recent comments Wiggins voiced his displeasure with being the third option despite leading the team in field goal attempts. Not very self aware comments considering his poor numbers. At least now his play is starting to back up those comments. The key is now Wiggins to keep up when Butler comes back and in the playoffs. Once he does that then he will start being worth his contract rather than just a player with potential.