It happened again to Andrew Wiggins a couple of times Wednesday night.
The Wolves guard got the ball, dribbled into the paint and went to that spin move he has used so effectively this season. But when he turned, there was a wall of Lakers defenders waiting for him.
“I tell our players all the time,” interim coach Sam Mitchell said. “They watch film, too.”
They, in this case, are Wolves opponents. And the film they’ve been watching clearly includes Wiggins, whose game has taken a quantum jump this season.
He has scored in double figures in 18 of his 20 games, scored 20 points or more 11 times, 30 or more three times.
And he is becoming a marked man.
Opponents are double-teaming him at times, especially as he nears the basket. They are trying not to let him have shots in his comfort zone. And that might be why, in his past three games, Wiggins has shot 16-for-46 (34.8 percent) from the field.
Against Portland on Saturday, Wiggins went 6-for-15 for 17 points. He followed that with a 3-for-15 game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. Against the Lakers on Wednesday, Wiggins was 7-for-16 for 19 points.
So now Wiggins has to adjust to what teams are doing to him.
“That comes with me just practicing and watching film on how people are playing me,” Wiggins said.
What is he seeing? “Just a lot of bodies,” Wiggins said. “Driving the lane and coming off a pick-and-roll, I see a lot of bodies, waiting.”
The antidote, Mitchell said, is for Wiggins to concentrate on making the extra pass when he’s getting extra defenders. Other Wolves on the floor need to do more, too.
“We have to run our offense, set better screens,” Mitchell said. “And Andrew has to score in different ways. We tell Andrew all the time, you have to learn to score in transition, to score in our motion offense. He’s doing that.”
One thing Wiggins can’t do is lose his aggressiveness. “Attacking is one of my strengths,” he said. “And I’m going to continue to do that when I can.”
X-rays on Kevin Martin’s right wrist showed no broken bones. Martin jammed the wrist early against the Lakers, when he ran into Lakers center Roy Hibbert coming off a screen.
Still, Martin ended up scoring a season-high 37 points on 14-for-27 shooting. He hit six of nine three-pointers and scored 17 points in the fourth quarter.
But he was worried. “Yes, because of how it felt,” Martin said. “As long as there is no break. … It’s pretty painful. But, like I said last year at this time, I can play with pain, but I can’t play with a break. So I’ll just deal with the pain.”
Last season in November, he hurt his wrist early in a 37-point game against New York. When tests showed a break, Martin had surgery and was out for more than two months.
Martin is listed as probable by the Wolves and expects to play Friday in Denver.
The game was further evidence that Martin’s November shooting slump might be over. After shooting 33.1 percent overall and 28.6 percent on three-pointers in 14 November games, Martin has rebounded in December. In four games this month he is shooting 46.7 percent overall, has hit nine of 13 three-pointers and is scoring 16 points per game.
“It was just fun hitting shots,” Martin said of Wednesday’s game. “Shots that I’ve been working on since I was 10 years old. They were going in last night. That was the fun part, and also winning was the fun part.”
All-Star voting begins
Fan voting for the All-Star Game starters began Thursday on numerous digital formats, including NBA.com/vote. Every current player is eligible in the voting for the game, which will be played at Toronto on Feb. 14.