Well it’s about time.
For weeks, coach Steve Kerr has hinted at re-inserting rookie center James Wiseman into the starting lineup, and now it’s official. Kerr dropped the news on Tuesday, per The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.
Kerr made his proclamation before the Warriors near come-from-behind win against the 76ers on Tuesday, sans guard Stephen Curry. Wiseman got off to a slow start in the 108-98 loss, but the entire team did as well, as they fell behind by 24 points early. Though they took a late lead thanks to a 40-point third quarter, the Warriors couldn’t close the game.
Wiseman finished with 11 points and four rebounds in 26 minutes, on 5-of-13 shooting. He missed his only 3-point attempt and was 1-for-2 from the free throw line. In a sign of growth, or perhaps respect from the officials or a combination of both, Wiseman had just three personal fouls.
But this is a big announcement from Kerr. It’s clear that the franchise is now fully willing to absorb some mistakes from the 19-year-old if the experience helps Wiseman learn.
Ideally, he learns quickly. So far, he has. His wrist injury and two bouts with pandemic-related issues have made for a choppy rookie year as far as playing time and rotation duties.
Wiseman’s talent is always evident, however. He began the season as the starter because of that, and when Kerr put him on the bench for a bit, he responded strongly before his wrist injury. Now, it’s time for him to prove the Warriors made the correct choice in selecting him at No. 2 overall in this year’s draft.
(Photo credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)