Andrew Wiggins vs. The Cavs: Historic Rivalry in the Making

Jan 8, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) dunks the ball in the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Target Center. The Cavaliers won 125-99. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) dunks the ball in the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Target Center. The Cavaliers won 125-99. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

It seems that the former Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins has developed a rivalry towards not one other player, but an entire team: The Cleveland Cavaliers!

Each and every time Wiggins has played the Cleveland Cavaliers since being traded last year, his mission is to have a career game that exceeded the last. Averaging only 16 points per game in his rookie season, it was apparent that Wiggins wasn’t there to lead the team in scoring, but provide a reliable player in every aspect. But if you ask the Cavs what Wiggins’ strong suit is, they’ll say he can light up a scoreboard like very few can.

In all three games against his “former” team, if you can even call them that, Wiggins has had career nights. It’s no secret that Wiggins was excited to play for the Cavaliers and then disappointed when they traded him for Kevin Love. I mean, who wouldn’t be excited to play with LeBron James? Especially as a rookie. Since the trade though, Wiggins has seemed to make it his sole mission to out show the Cavaliers that they made the wrong choice by not sticking with the former Kansas star.

Before the Cavs and Wiggins first meeting on December 23, 2014, Wiggins only produced over 25 points once in his NBA career. That night however, Wiggins scored 27, totaled two blocks, and four boards. He wasn’t done there either. In their next meeting, a little over a month later, Wiggins had his first career 30+ point game, finishing with 33 points and four steals. If he didn’t show the Cavs that he wanted to prove something in their first two meetings, Wiggins dropped 35 points in their first meeting of the 2015-2016 season.

If anyone ever needed an example of taking something to heart and using it to spark a flame, Wiggins playing the Cavaliers would be the perfect example. The 20-year-old could do no wrong when he plays Cleveland. It’s like he practices all year long, waiting for his chance to prove once again that he deserved to be on that NBA Finals team.

It isn’t like he’s being a ball hog either. Wiggins is yet to shoot under 50% against the Cavs. He comes not only to put up big stats, but to do it efficiently.

If the Cavaliers haven’t noticed it yet, Wiggins has made the Cavs his team to beat. The worst part, is that he hasn’t beaten them yet, only setting more fuel to the fire. Wiggins constantly battles to prove to this Cleveland team that trading him was a mistake and Cleveland shows him that they can win without him, over and over again. At some point you almost feel bad for him.

That doesn’t matter though, because the deed is done, and Wiggins is a Minnesota Timberwolve, and the way the T-Wolves look right now, it can be a long time before they have a chance of proving Wiggins right once and for all. And when they do have a team strong enough to beat the Cavs, there’s no way Wiggins will want to leave them, no one would. With Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, the T-Wolves can develop one of the best young teams in the NBA within a few years.

That’s the most exciting part. As Wiggins continues to build this hatred for Cleveland, the T-Wolves will be building a championship contending team. If that can happen before the Cavs begin to collapse (which seems far off with young players signed for years to come), then Wiggins vs. the Cavs can become the Timberwolves vs. the Cavs. With the young talent the T-Wolves can bring in, that can become one of the most talented rivalries in basketball.

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Even better, Wiggins can begin “Reggie Miller vs. the Knicks Part 2.” If Wiggins can create a team that can beat the Cavs, and he continues to put up points like he is now against them, then what will be stopping him from becoming their biggest nightmare? He has all the skill to pull it off, and his mindset to beat them is certainly there. It isn’t like LeBron James or Kyrie Irving are close to retirement, and Wiggins and the T-Wolves certainly aren’t getting old. It could take some time, but this Wiggins vs. the Cavs rivalry can be an extremely interesting matchup each year.

They aren’t in the same conference, so Wiggins won’t be able to spoil the Cavaliers’ Finals hopes. But he can spoil any chance of them receiving a ring, which he would love to do.

As the Timberwolves grow, and the Wiggins anger increases. Look for Wiggins vs. the Cavs to quickly become one of the most anticipated sporting events for years to come.