Through six games, it appears Andrew Wiggins is taking to heart much of what the organization is asking him to do. He is shooting far fewer midrange jumpers and getting into the restricted area much more.
Wiggins was the Wolves’ high scorer on Monday night against the Bucks. He had 25 points on 10-for-21 shooting, including 4-for-7 from three-point range.
Wiggins is averaging 21.2 points per game, almost two points higher than his career average. He is rebounding better and shooting a higher percentage than he did last year. His overall shooting percentage of .432 and his three-point percentage of .333 are just off his career averages.
“It’s encouraging,’’ coach Ryan Saunders said. “But it’s also a credit to a lot of people involved, doing the research, and the way the information is being conveyed to these guys.’’
In Saturday’s victory in Washington, without Karl-Anthony Towns in the lineup, Wiggins scored 21 points in only 26 minutes. But it wasn’t the points that caught the eye.
It was his six assists, with four coming in the first half in the Timberwolves’ one-sided win. Saunders said moving the ball was something he and his staff have been talking to Wiggins about.
“It was also the fact we didn’t have Karl,’’ Saunders said. “Some of it was the actions we tried to put him in earlier, and some of it, I give [point guard] Jeff Teague a lot of the credit. He called a lot of the actions early, in the flow of the game. It ended up nice for us.’’
Wiggins did not have an assist against the Bucks.
Trio of Wolves injuries
Robert Covington, Jordan Bell and Shabazz Napier all left Monday’s game at different points with injuries. Covington and Bell returned. Napier didn’t.
Covington was fouled hard near the end of the first half, landed on his hip and got some treatment. He returned to play in the second half. Ditto for Bell, who was called for a blocking foul late in the first half. Napier strained his right hamstring in the second half.
Turns out that Wolves rookie Jarrett Culver is a fan of Bucks wing Khris Middleton, who is in his eighth season. Both are 6-7, both played their college ball in Texas — Middleton at Texas A&M, Culver at Texas Tech.
“In college I watched a lot of film of him, as well as other players in the league,’’ Culver said.
Middleton, taken by Detroit in the second round of the 2012 draft, made his first NBA All-Star appearance last season.
“He’s a great player,’’ Culver said. “And he moves very well. So I know some of the things he does.’’
Middleton had 26 points on 9-for-15 shooting in just 27 minutes against the Wolves on Monday night. Culver had eight points and four rebounds.