Though the Warriors lucked out in the draft and selected the baby monster, James Wiseman, Warriors coach Steve Kerr still has to learn how, and when, to best use his prized rookie center.
Especially with talented players on the bench. Kevon Looney is an NBA champion and a supreme role player, and second-year forward/center Eric Paschall is thriving with the second unit, mostly scoring buckets inside as an undersized “five.”
In the Warriors loss to the Clippers on Wednesday, some observers thought Kerr should have played Paschall at center in crunch time as opposed to Wiseman. Paschall had been keeping Golden State afloat, along with forward Andrew Wiggins.
Kerr faced a question Thursday about how to balance the need to get Wiseman experience late in ballgames versus playing the best option available at that time.
“It’s a great question and it’s something we have to feel game by game,” Kerr said, according to The Athletic. “Looney, obviously, has been through the wars. He’s been to the Finals many times and understands everything that’s happening out there. And if we feel like we need his play to finish a game, then we’ll put him out there. If we feel like James is a good option and it will be a good experience for him, like last night, then we’ll go that route. It’s just trying to find that sweet spot, and we’re probably not always going to be perfect with it but that’s the balance we’re seeking.”
Just a sense of mine, but Kerr seemed a tad defensive there, especially considering he didn’t even mention Paschall, though he’s been earning minutes at center. As Kerr said, it will be a game-by-game situation, so we’ll wait and see what happens tonight in Golden State’s rematch with the Clippers.
The fact that LA is the opponent again makes this a bit more interesting, too. But if everything goes the Warriors’ way, Wiseman will earn those crunch-time minutes because he’s the most talented of the bunch, and Looney and Paschall will round out the rotation as quality role players on a playoff team.