Warriors' Andrew Wiggins cleared for Game 1 of NBA playoffs

ByKendra Andrews ESPN logo
Thursday, April 13, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO -- Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins has been cleared to play in Game 1 of the team's first-round series against the Sacramento Kings.

"Andrew looks great, feeling good and is ready to go," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after practice Thursday afternoon.

Wiggins hasn't played since Feb. 13, missing the Warriors' final 25 games of the regular season because of a family matter. He was away from the team for two months before returning for the last week but sat out of the Warriors' last three games as he worked on his conditioning.

Golden State is still deciding whether Wiggins will retain his starting position or come off the bench. Donte DiVincenzo has been starting in his place.

The team is also unsure what Wiggins' minutes load will look like. Kerr said he will consult with director of sports medicine Rick Celebrini before deciding.

"I think it sort of depends on how he feels tomorrow and going into Saturday," Kerr said. "On the one hand, Wiggs is one of those guys who just doesn't seem to fall out of shape or get tired. He's just a naturally gifted athlete. On the other hand, he hasn't played in 10 weeks. So maybe the game will dictate it. We'll just have to play it by ear."

Wiggins participated in a heavy team practice and scrimmage on Wednesday and light practice on Thursday -- all of which he exited looking and feeling good.

Wiggins is a key player for Golden State and was a crucial part of its championship win last season. His absence was obvious during his time away.

"Defense, rebounding," center Kevon Looney said Wednesday when asked how Wiggins will make an immediate impact upon his return. "He's a guy that guards the other team's best players. And he's a guy that when the shot clock is getting low, you can just throw him the ball and he's going to get a bucket. That's something we've been missing all year."

Against the Kings during the regular season, Wiggins averaged 25 points, the team's second-highest scorer against Sacramento. He shot 55.6% from the field, including 39.1% from 3-point range, and averaged 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals.

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