Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau was asked about Andrew Wiggins' franchise-record 19-game streak with 20 or more points, a streak that ended Saturday in an overtime loss in San Antonio.
In typical Thibodeau fashion, he said Wiggins can do even better.
“There is a lot of room for growth,’’ Thibodeau said.
Saturday, due mainly to Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, Wiggins finished with 17 points on 6-for-24 shooting. Interestingly, Wiggins’ 19-point streak of scoring 20 or more points began after a loss in San Antonio Jan. 17 and was ended in San Antonio.
In those two games vs. the Spurs Wiggins was a combined 6-for-32. During his 19-game streak, he shot better than 50 percent.
That’s probably not a surprise, given Leonard’s marvelous two-way game. To Thibodeau, it just points out what can be learned from watching the way Leonard and the Spurs operate.
“I thought Kawhi had a great quote after the game about how he prepares for every challenge he faces,’’ Thibodeau said. “In that sometimes, when things don’t go well, you have to keep going, keep pounding, you have to keep grinding. That comes from your preparation. That’s a mentality. That’s what winners do.’’
And that, clearly, is what he wants to continue seeing from Wiggins. “I want Wigg to improve, to get better, to be strong on both sides of the ball. He can make this whatever he wants it to be. But he’s got to work.’’
Here are some other items from today’s morning shoot:
--Wiggins’ streak broke the 16-game franchise mark previously held by Kevin Garnett, who did it twice, once in 2000 and once in 2003. It took more than a decade for that mark to fall. But Wiggins’ mark might fall in a matter of days.
Karl-Anthony Towns brings a 17-game streak of games with 20 or more points into tonight’s game with Portland. If Towns continues, he would tie Wiggins Wednesday and set a new mark Friday.
“Man, I’m feeling the pressure,’’ Towns joked. “But seriously, it doesn’t matter what happens, with my scoring. It’s about getting a team win.’’
--Lance Stephenson’s ankle is getting close to being healed, which means a decision is looming for the Wolves. Stephenson, signed to a 10-day contract Feb. 8, played in four games before the injury against Cleveland Feb. 14. He has been rehabbing ever since. The Wolves can sign him to another 10-day contract or for the season once he’s healthy, if they so choose. Thibodeau said such a decision would come in the next day or two.
--Adreian Payne, who has missed 13 games while being treated for thrombocytopenia, is getting better, Thibodeau said, but appears to be a ways off. “He’s going to have a lot of conditioning to do once he does come back,’’ Thibodeau said. “But he was in yesterday. He’s in good spirits and improving.’’