Western Notes: Wiggins, Warriors, Popovich, Jazz

Warriors coach Steve Kerr praised Andrew Wiggins for his improved play this season — which has now carried into the postseason, as Kerith Burke of NBC Sports Bay Area relays (Twitter link).

Wiggins was named an All-Star for the first time this season, averaging 17.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on 47% shooting from the floor and 39% shooting from deep. His strong two-way play is a major reason why the Warriors have hung around in the NBA Finals, defeating Boston on Friday to tie the series 2-2.

“He’s a very mild-mannered guy, but he’s taken a leap in these playoffs in terms of his impact on the game defensively,” Kerr said, also noting how Wiggins grabbed 16 rebounds in Game 4. “The biggest thing is he’s a two-way player.”

Here are some other notes from the West:

  • Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press explores how the Warriors proved they’re still dominant on the road by winning Game 4. Nicknamed the “Road Warriors,” the Dubs have won a road game in each of their last 27 playoff series. Golden State won 107-97 in Boston on Friday behind Stephen Curry‘s 43 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Until Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says otherwise, it’s best to assume he’ll return next season, Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News writes. Popovich has held off on discussing his future and seems focused on the present. Should he return next season, it would be his 29th as San Antonio’s head coach.
  • Sarah Todd of the Deseret News examines the Jazz‘s front-office hierarchy, which can be confusing because of some relatively recent changes in the basketball operations department. Utah hired ex-Celtics general manager Danny Ainge as CEO last year, but still has Justin Zanik as general manager. As Todd notes, the team also didn’t hire a new executive vice president of basketball operations when Dennis Lindsey left the position.

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