The short answer to the question posed in the headline should be this: immediately. Christmas Day against the Bucks. The Warriors should develop a two-man option with star guard Stephen Curry and No. 2 overall pick, James Wiseman right away to help an offense with new pieces that don’t appear to fit just yet.
And the struggles are to be expected. Golden State has played just a single game thus far with a roster that looks much different than year’s past, and coach Steve Kerr’s offense is based on getting each player on the floor into a “flow” of beautiful, dynamic passing, play making and shooting, accelerated by elite defense.
It will be a matter of weeks before that coalescence of the team takes place, even according to Kerr. In the meantime, the Warriors need buckets. And I see no better way to get said buckets than pairing Curry, one of the best guards of all-time and undoubtedly the best shooter off the dribble in NBA history (his pops was a great catch-and-shoot guy, just saying you gotta respect the elders), with Wiseman, the 7-foot-tall rookie.
Marcus Thompson of The Athletic broached the subject in his post-Nets-game column. Here’s what he had to say about how well these two might do in a little pick-and-roll action.
The Warriors didn’t do much of it, but Kerr did give a glimpse of the Curry-Wiseman pick-and-roll. But the few times they did run it, it produced good looks. Wiseman is a threat at the rim and a big target if Curry gets trapped … Over time, they’ll work on timing and the proper angles to take. But with Wiseman’s shooting ability, ball-handling and finishing, he figures to be the perfect pick-and-roll partner with Curry.
And of course Thompson brought the goods and got a comment about the idea. Here’s what Curry said:
“He’s a presence, and I think he showed exactly how he can open up the floor for me in the middle of those pick-and-rolls and put pressure on the rim.”Per Marcus Thompson and The Athletic
Here’s a little sneak preview of what the Curry and Wiseman could possibly do. It’s not a picturesque pick and roll, but you can see the defenders gravitate toward Curry (duh) and leave the tall, talented Wiseman wide open.
Wiseman looked like the real deal in the season opener, scoring 19 points in 24 minutes and displaying a bevy of skills. He also had some rookie mistakes, but I believe he’s already the Warriors’ second best player (with Klay Thompson out for the campaign). I liken it to when Andrew Bogut joined the club. He vibed with Curry via the pick and roll, and it jump-started the rest of the offense, even if it wasn’t the main part of the strategy on that end of the floor.
Kerr doesn’t have to turn to this often, and that’s good, since he won’t, with his preference for ball movement, which has worked splendidly. But sometimes you gotta but the basketball in the hands of your best players, especially when you simply need buckets. That’s where the Warriors are at, and they should turn to a Curry/Wiseman two-man game more often, and as soon as possible.