When we traded Kevin Love for first overall pick Andrew Wiggins, and drafted Karl-Anthony Towns first overall in 2015, this is what we imagined. We imagined a duo of Shaq and Kobe proportions and up through the end of last season, they had done little to fulfill that vision. Now however, with Wiggins in year six, and Towns in year 5, we are seeing our dreams come to fruition.
Through 11 games the Timberwolves are 7-4 with signature wins over the Nets, the Heat, and most recently, the Spurs. The entire team has been clicking, but there’s no denying why this team has been winning and that has been the fantastic play of Wiggins and Towns.
Together they are averaging 51.7 ppg, the second highest average since Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant scored a combined 57.5 ppg in the 2002-2003 season. Whether it will sustain is yet to be seen, but so far Andrew Wiggins has been improving upon every game, and Towns is bouncing back nicely, shaking off the rust from his two game suspension.
It’s worth noting that James Harden and Russell Westbrook are currently averaging more than the Timberwolves duo (59.6), but are they really playing better? When you combine Towns (2.6) and Wiggins (1.5) turnovers per game, they still total less turnovers than Wesstbrook (4.3) and Harden (5.8) do individually.
Also, James Harden is shooting 41% which is good enough for him to rank 110th in the NBA for shooting accuracy. In other words, the guy scores 40 points a game because he chucks up a lot of shots.
Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns field goal percentages round out at 48% each, good enough to rank them both in the top 50 for shooting accuracy, something that I would have thought was impossible just a couple weeks ago.
Also, consider the fact that they’ve been without Jeff Teague and Shabazz Napier for 5 out of their 11 games. That means for nearly have their games they’ve been without their starting and backup point guard and they still have 7-4 record and are only 1 game back from 2nd place in the West.
Add all of this up and it’s clear: Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are the best duo in the NBA.