Warriors' Draymond Green Praises Andrew Wiggins for Elevating Play After Criticism

Erin WalshMay 23, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 07: Draymond Green #23 and Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates after Wiggins scored and was fouled on the shot against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half of Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs at Chase Center on May 07, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

While Andrew Wiggins has received plenty of criticism for his shot selection and defensive consistency, he silenced his critics in the Golden State Warriors' 109-100 Game 3 win over the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals on Sunday.

Following what was Wiggins' best performance of the postseason, Warriors veteran Draymond Green lauded him for his effort in his postgame comments.

"That's a guy who has been criticized for being lackadaisical and the beat goes on, you've heard it all, yet on the biggest stage, he's come through," Green said. "It's great to see, absolutely amazing to see him pick up his level of play."

Wiggins had a tremendous performance in Game 3, finishing with 27 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. His 27 points were second on the Warriors behind Stephen Curry's 31. 

Klay Thompson also lauded Wiggins in his postgame comments, telling reporters that he was happy the Warriors had him. 

"He's worked so hard to get to this point," Thompson said. "We've just got to help him become a champion, and he will obviously help us. What he did tonight ... that's what we brought him on for. He is such a talented player. I'm so grateful we have him."

Wiggins has had a good season for the Warriors. He averaged 17.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists during the regular season and has been just as good in the playoffs, averaging 15.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists per game.

For more of his time in the NBA, the 2014 No. 1 overall draft pick has been characterized as soft, lazy and unreliable. But he has helped the Warriors dominate opponents all season long, and now they are just one win away from a berth in the NBA Finals.

Wiggins has also helped take pressure off players like Green, Thompson and Curry this postseason, though the same could be said for Jordan Poole, who is also having a tremendous impact for the Dubs.

That said, if the Warriors want to punch their ticket to the Finals in Game 4, they'll need players like Wiggins and Poole to make an impact on Tuesday night.