Aaron Wiggins proves himself once more with season-high game

Aaron Wiggins #21 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Aaron Wiggins #21 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Drafted as the 55th pick of the 2021 NBA draft, Aaron Wiggins proved once again that the Oklahoma City Thunder has hit a diamond in the rough in him.

Aaron Wiggins fired a season-best 27 points, on extremely efficient shooting, alongside four rebounds, and two steals in the Thunder’s lopsided win over the Utah Jazz, 130-103.

Wiggins came off the bench and played a role on the floor that was mainly to pick his spots on offense. He did that and more en route to a 12-of-16 shooting clip — an excellent 75% field goal percentage.

Aaron Wiggins continues to show his value, drops a career-high 27 points against the Utah Jazz.

“It feels good,” Aaron Wiggins, who just came a point shy of his career-high, said. “Tonight, it was all about just trying to make sure that we stayed locked in on the way that we played, and stayed true to what we do.”

Turnovers made a huge difference in the game as OKC scored 32 points off the 26 turnovers of Utah. On the other hand, the Thunder had significantly less with just 7 TOs, from which only six points were scored from.

More turnovers equal more opportunities in transition and the Thunder pounced heavily on it, recording 27 fastbreak points compared to the Jazz’s 15. Wiggins was the one patrolling the charge on that department with 11 points off fastbreaks.

The 24-year-old played his usual rugged pace, often disrupting passing lanes to provide transition opportunities for himself and his teammates. Wiggins is ranked at the 66th percentile in transition with 1.195 points per possession — a level that is “very good”, according to Synergy.

He is also a great cutter as he has a knack at timing his cuts perfectly to punish collapsed defenses from the Thunder’s paint touches, resulting in easy looks around the rim. His performance on March 4 merited an impressive  73.2 true shooting percentage, attributed mainly to his looks inside the paint and the transition baskets he drilled.

Wiggins put up 17 of his total points in the fourth quarter, a career-high in any quarter. He also finished with 11 two-point baskets — a feat that is stirring considering that the Jazz have 7-foot-1 rookie Walker Kessler, who had four blocks in the game and averaged 2.2 in the season, lurking in the paint.

Often using the outside threat of Jaylin Williams, who has shot 41.7% from deep this season, the Thunder have pulled the rim-protecting Kessler outside of the restricted area for extended stretches. Through this, Wiggins picked his spots and took advantage of what the defense gave him.

“We didn’t want to try to finish over them,” Wiggins said about their game plan. “So we tried to find other ways to just, you know, get their bigs shifted and kind of move so that we could get other looks around the rim. And we did a really good job just being patient, moving the ball and trying to find better looks.”

Wiggins has continued to be one of the Thunder’s most promising role players. As the team navigates through the roster for their future, performances like this puts Wiggins at a much better helm in the team.

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