Between his freakish athleticism, already well-rounded defense, and a ceiling higher than any character in a Cheech and Chong movie, it is easy to understand why Andrew Wiggins is being lauded as a top-3 pick in the NBA Draft this year. However, even with all the positives in his game, there does happen to be a jarring area of concern.
Wiggins’ best and most talked about attribute of his game happens to be his athleticism. It being so breathtaking that Wiggins nearly broke the Internet with one picture of him jumping so high in a non combine vertical test, that it inspired a slew of memes.
All of the goofy memes are funny but none of them explain something troubling in his game. Despite all of the athleticism that Andrew Wiggins possesses, he doesn’t do that great of a job finishing at the rim.
You would think a player with Wiggins’ ability to block Michael Jordan’s shot in Space Jam would be able to finish on layup attempts rather easily, but there seems to be a hitch in Wiggins’ finishing ability. This is especially troubling because the ability to finish at the rim is more of a natural trait than it is one that can be learned.
None of this makes Wiggins a bust-like prospect. Most worst-case-scenarios call for Wiggins to end up being a world-class NBA defender. The best cases have him being an NBA superstar. Not being able to finish at the rim would certainly derail the latter’s chances.
In college, Wiggins had a true shooting percentage of .563 percent, which is really impressive. Even more so when you attribute many of his misses being from pointblank range and that really highlights how wrong a lot of different people were about aspects of Wiggins’ game.
Wiggins came into college with a reputation as a freak athlete but also of a guy who would struggle offensively because of his inability to hit mid-to-long range jump shots. Now, Wiggins didn’t set the world on fire from three point range, but what he did do was shoot a respectable .341 percent from beyond the arc.
On solely two point attempts, Wiggins shot a solid .493 percent. Why are those numbers troubling even though they seem solid?
Because they should be higher. Specifically, a guy with the ability to jump out of the gym should not be missing layups or putback attempts on the regular.
It would also prevent Wiggins and his team from having him make regular trips to the free-throw line. Not only because of less attempts at the basket, but because defenders will not challenge him as often until Andrew Wiggins proves he can finish contested layups at the next level. I wouldn’t expect many defenders to be taking him down via armdrags or any other forms of tomfoolery guys like Blake Griffin or a young Vince Carter would have to put up with because Wiggins shot is unproven from that range.