In a real treat for Warriors fans, the growth of rookie center James Wiseman continues. The No. 2 overall pick has impressed thus far, and his obvious physical skills have left all observers of the team to wonder: how good can this young man become?
Wiseman shared a bit about his learning curve as an NBA big man while appearing on the Warriors Plus-Minus podcast with The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. The pod asked Wiseman about learning how to be aggressive without fouling. Wiseman essentially said that as he learns how to do that, watch out. Then Slater asked Wiseman if he tells himself to not “fall in love” with his jumper (which is in fact lovely) even if he’s hit a couple in a row.
“Most definitely,” Wiseman said. “Even though I’m capable of making that shot, there’s way more points to be made if I just go hard to the basket because they’re either going to foul me or I can get an And 1.”
You can listen to a portion of the podcast below, or check out the entire thing via Slater’s link:
Wiseman has fouled out once thus far, but he’s learning more each game about how to position his body on both offense and defense, and it shows with each game’s improvement or lesson learned. The presence of former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green has also helped Wiseman play smarter on the defensive end and avoid fouls.
What’s perhaps most encouraging, however, is Wiseman’s comment about not settling for his outside shot. His jumper is much further along than anyone knew, so he could easily build his identity outside. Think former Warriors bust Joe Smith AKA “Jump Shot Joe” (sorry bout that).
But not Wiseman. He’s shown an excellent spin move, so perhaps we’ll see that tonight in the rematch against the Clippers. And if he gets fouled, he can shoot from the free throw line, too. So let’s wait to see if he can put the defense on its heels and cause havoc at the rim, causing fouls in the process. It’s just another joyous aspect of watching this young man’s basketball life blossom.
(Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)