NEW ORLEANS – Remember all those shots that went in for Timberwolves young star Andrew Wiggins most of this season?
Well, all the ones that fell and made him the early three-point percentage leader in the NBA clubhouse simply refused to do so the past two games leading to Wednesday night at New Orleans.
At least that’s the way he sees it.
Once shooting about 63 percent from three-point range after the season’s first seven games, he went 7-for-29 — that’s 24.1 percent — and 0-for-8 on three-pointers in losses Saturday at Memphis and Monday at home against Boston.
“They’re a good defensive team,” Wiggins said about the Celtics, “but I missed like five open three-pointers. I missed pull-ups. I missed around the rim. I missed a lot of shots that I usually make. I can’t really be down on myself or nothing like that.
“I shot the shots I usually make. Some games it’s not going to go in.”
Once the league leader, Wiggins has fallen out of the top 10, but he still was shooting 44.2 percent (23-for-52) entering Wednesday’s game.
Memphis muscled Wiggins at every turn and Boston, too, double-teamed him as well, if not as physically.
“You have to give defenses credit for the way they’ve played, but then he has missed some open shots, too,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “The big thing is, he has to be confident and continue to shoot. We’ve looked at all the shots: He has had good balance, and he has shot them well. They’re straight, they’re long and they’re on target. They just haven’t gone in for him.”
Thibodeau’s former boss and longtime friend, ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy, called Wednesday’s nationally televised game.
“We’ve been close for a long time,” said Thibodeau, who was an assistant to Van Gundy in New York and Houston. “Being on his staff, those were great years, so we talk all the time.”
Made in Kentucky
Wolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns faced fellow former Kentucky stars Davis and Terrence Jones on Wednesday in New Orleans and will meet former UK teammate Devin Booker on Friday in Phoenix.
All of them were groomed for the NBA by coach John Calipari, Thibodeau’s longtime friend.
Thibodeau visited more than a dozen NBA teams during a season’s sabbatical a year ago and intended to get to Kentucky to see the college version of one.
“I was hoping to, but I never got the chance,” Thibodeau said. “I talked to him quite a bit that year. We’ve known each other for a long time.”
Around the world
Wolves guard Zach LaVine’s 360-degree dunk at Wednesday’s shootaround quickly made its way around the internet after Wiggins posted it online.
“A 10,” guard Tyus Jones said about his unofficial score, “because he made it look so effortless.”
• Davis started Wednesday, one night after he left a game at Atlanta after he hurt his knee and but returned later to play. New Orleans guard Tyreke Evans (knee) and F/G Quincy Pondexter (knee) did not play.