CLEVELAND – In the wake of his woeful shooting night Saturday, Andrew Wiggins had just one solution.
“I shot my way into it. I’m just going to shoot my way out of it,” Wiggins said.
That was his hope Monday against the Cavaliers as Wiggins tried to move past an 0-for-12 night against the Bulls in his previous outing.
The Wolves didn’t need him and teammate Robert Covington, who went 1-for-18, to shoot well against Chicago — they still managed to defeat the Bulls by 15, thanks to 35 points from Karl-Anthony Towns.
The question is whether Wiggins and Covington might experience any lingering effects from their off nights.
Covington didn’t. He went 8-for-12 from the floor Monday. Wiggins had a rougher go of it. He missed five of his six shots in the first half with his lone basket coming on an uncontested layup. He got going a bit in the second half, hitting three of his first five, including a three-pointer in the third quarter.
But Wiggins wasn’t on the floor in crunch time as coach Tom Thibodeau opted for Derrick Rose in Wiggins’ spot over the final minutes of the game.
“Wig will be out there most of the time,” Thibodeau said. “It’s just [the Cavaliers] were playing zone and I wanted more dribble penetration and so I actually was thinking about putting him in at the 4 [power forward], but it was just the way the game was unfolding. Wig will finish most games.”
Thibodeau mentioned that Wiggins put in some “extra work” Monday in order to prepare for the game later at Quicken Loans Arena. Even though neither player shot well Saturday, Thibodeau wasn’t upset with their overall games.
“Covington had a great impact on that game without shooting the ball well. So, I think that’s critical,” Thibodeau said. “You need everyone, and that’s the important thing, but it’s an example of you can play well when you don’t shoot well. If you’re not shooting well, do other things.”
Thibodeau said he wasn’t concerned about Saturday turning into an extended slump.
“We’ve seen with Wig, he’s already proven what a prolific scorer he is,” he said. “He’s going to have a number of games that’ll be great, too. Everyone has a game like that, and you just bounce back from it.”
Two days after Towns grabbed 22 rebounds in the victory over the Bulls, the NBA gave him another one — and it’s a significant statistical correction for Towns.
The league ruled that Wendell Carter Jr. attempted a dunk with 3 minutes, 5 seconds remaining in the first quarter Saturday instead of just losing control of the ball.
Towns initially was credited with a steal, but with Carter now being credited with a shot attempt, the league gave Towns another rebound, increasing his total to 23 for the game. That ties Towns’ career high. Towns is averaging 12.2 rebounds per game.
Back on the squad
Keita Bates-Diop was back with the Wolves after spending time with the G-League Iowa Wolves.
Bates-Diop, along with rookie Jared Terrell and veteran C.J. Williams, have been bouncing back and forth between the Wolves and Iowa.
It’s a roster option Thibodeau has liked to utilize with his younger players.
“When you have young players, obviously you want them around the team so they learn the NBA game and they can practice with you,” Thibodeau said.
“But I think the playing time is also important, so that’s a big part of their development.”