For a 19-year-old rookie with barely a speck of college experience, has Warriors center James Wiseman disappointed in any way?
Not really. He’s been exceptional, even as he returns from a wrist injury to his left and dominant hand. Look at Wiseman’s shooting statistics since he’s resumed his rookie year, per Drew Shiller of NBC Sports.
Wiseman’s 67-percent success rate from the field is incredible, and he’s provided size, speed, athleticism, scoring and defense off the bench since his return.
The only question for coach Steve Kerr is how to use his big man. Notice that he’s played just 50 minutes in three games since he returned, which averages to just 16.6 minutes per game. True to form, Wiseman played 17 minutes in Golden State’s big win against the Hornets. In that limited time, he scored 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting and grabbed four rebounds.
Thankfully, Wiseman understands that he’s not in a typical situation for a No. 2 overall pick. The Warriors have superstars plus a motion offense firmly in place. He not only has a lot to learn, but he’s not depended on to carry the club. Here’s Wiseman’s postgame comment on the subject, courtesy of Shiller.
I don’t know about soon, but it’s coming. And maybe soon, to some degree. But Kerr is clearly grooming Wiseman as a future face of the franchise.
The rookie looked better alongside starters Draymond Green and Stephen Curry in Friday’s win, however, as opposed to his minutes playing next to forward/center Eric Paschall, which were a bit of a disaster in the second quarter. I don’t see Kerr putting Wiseman back in the starting lineup anytime soon, but that’s clearly the goal. Friday night was a step in that direction.
The Warriors will need Wiseman’s skills to get through their next batch of games, no matter how many minutes he plays or who he shares the court with. The Lakers are next up on national TV Sunday night. That game is followed by matchups against the Blazers and Suns before the All-Star Break.
(Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)